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New York City to honor Notorious B.I.G with lighting ceremony at Empire State Building

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New York City and the landmark Empire State Building will beam red and white on May 21 in honor of legendary rapper Biggie Smalls on what would’ve been his 50th birthday this Saturday. 

As part of the official celebration, a lighting ceremony will take place on Friday, May 20, that will include Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace; his children, CJ and T’yanna Wallace; longtime friend and fellow rapper Lil Kim; and other close friends and hip-hop luminaries. 

In commemoration of the late rapper, the Barclays Center will feature a video montage of classic Biggie records which will be displayed on the oculus above the arena’s entrance. For those planning to travel to the venue by way of NYC public transportation, a special edition MetroCard featuring the Notorious B.I.G will be available exclusively at three subway stations near his old Brooklyn neighborhood: Lafayette Avenue, Clinton – Washington Avenue and Atlantic Avenue. 

The celebration will continue into June’s Black Music Month with an orchestral tribute to Biggie at the Lincoln Center, which will feature a special musical guest. The black-tie event will be free to the public and will also be livestreamed on Amazon Music’s Twitch channel on June 10. 

Also available on June 10 will be a 25th anniversary vinyl version of Life After Death, Biggie’s diamond-certified, Grammy-nominated second and final studio album.

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