Late New York City rapper Biggie Smalls is getting a very New York celebration for what would have been his 50th birthday: a MetroCard.
Strap-hangers can purchase MetroCards emblazoned with the hiphop legend’s face at four stations in Brooklyn on Saturday, according to a press release from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
The artist, also known by the stage name Notorious B.I.G., was born Christopher Wallace on May 21, 1972, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. After releasing two Grammy-nominated studio records, Wallace was shot and killed at 24 in Los Angeles. His murder is still unsolved.
Special-edition MetroCards aren’t the only way the city is celebrating Biggie’s birthday. The Empire State Building will also light up in red and white and feature a spinning crown on its mast to honor the rapper’s legacy, according to a news release. Members of Wallace’s family, including his children T’yanna Wallace and Christopher Wallace, Jr., mother Voletta Wallace, and widow Faith Evans, participated in a lighting ceremony Friday, says the release.
“From one icon to another, the Empire State Building is honored to celebrate the life and legacy of the Notorious B.I.G. with an authentic experience for his family, friends, and fans in the heart of New York City,” said Abigail Rickards of the Empire State Building in the release.
T’yanna Wallace announced on Instagram that she will host a pop-up at Lilly’s Pizza Bar in Brooklyn.
In early June, the Lincoln Center will honor the rapper’s work with a free “orchestral tribute,” according to its website.