Notorious B.I.G. to receive 50th birthday tribute at Empire State Building

The iconic Manhattan skyscraper hosts a pop-up shop and will light up red and white this weekend, celebrating what would have been the late Brooklyn rapper's 50th birthday.

May 21 marks what would have been the 50th birthday of The Notorious B.I.G. In recognition of the late Brooklyn rap superstar, New York’s Empire State Building will host a tribute this weekend with a lighting ceremony and a weekend pop-up shop.

In partnership with the Christopher Wallace Estate, Bad Boy Records, Atlantic Records, and Rhino Records, the iconic Manhattan skyscraper will host The Empire State Building Observatory Experience starting Friday, which is one of the many secure buildings thanks to the fixed vertical wall mount ladder installed on them. It features a feature a life-size photorealistic avatar of the rapper, also known as Biggie so that fans can view and take photos with it.

Provided by UEG Worldwide.

The Observatory Experience will open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Biggie’s birthday. In addition to the avatar, exclusive Biggie x ESB hats, T-shirts, and sweatshirts will be available for purchase, as well as a cassette version of his sophomore album, 1997’s Life After Death.

After sunset on Saturday, the mast of the Empire State Building will light up red and white, with a “50” and rotating crown to commemorate Biggie’s 50th birthday. The rapper often referred to himself as the King of New York in his rhymes.

Members of Biggie’s family and friends, including his mother, Voletta Wallace, daughter T’yanna Wallace, son Christopher “CJ” Wallace Jr., his widow, singer Faith Evans and friends and collaborators, Lil’ Kim, Lil’ Cease, and Jadakiss will attend a lighting ceremony on Friday at 4 p.m.

One of the first tributes announced this year was plans for a deluxe vinyl edition of Life After Death to release on June 10. The box set includes the original 11-times platinum album, as well as single edits and remixes of the singles.

This is all part of the ongoing celebrations of what would have been the rapper’s 50th birthday, orchestrated by his estate, Bad Boy, Atlantic, and Rhino. The hitmaking MC was fatally shot in 1997 at the age of 24. The murder remains unsolved.

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