NYC to mark Notorious B.I.G.'s 50th birthday, MTA unveils special MetroCard

BROOKLYN, New York City (WABC) -- New York City is preparing to honor the late rapper Christopher Wallace, better known as Biggie Smalls and the Notorious B.I.G., who would have turned 50 on May 21.

The MTA, in partnership with Rhino Entertainment, has announced that MetroCard vending machines at four Brooklyn subway stations will be loaded with limited edition cards honoring the Bedford-Stuyvesant native.

Wallace grew up in Central Brooklyn and released two Grammy-nominated studio records during his career, which was tragically cut short at the age of 24 in a still-unsolved murder.

His debut album, Ready to Die, has reached multi-platinum status, while his follow up, Life After Death, is diamond certified.

Biggie is legendary in New York's rap music industry and is widely considered one of the greatest rappers of all time.

MetroCards featuring a portrait of Notorious B.I.G on the reverse side will be available for purchase starting 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 21 on a first come, first serve basis.

Cards will solely be available at the vending machines that accept all forms of payment, including credit, debit and cash at the following stations in Central Brooklyn:
--Lafayette Avenue C
--Clinton-Washington Avenue C
--Clinton-Washington Avenue G
--Atlantic Avenue - Barclays Center 2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, N, R, Q

Mayor Eric Adams proclaimed May 21 to be "Christopher 'The Notorious B.I.G.' Wallace Day."

Wallace's son, CJ Wallace, accepted the honor from Mayor Adams Thursday afternoon.

CJ Wallace was 5 months old when his father was killed.

Several events are planned, including:

Friday:
--Empire State Building will host a lighting ceremony to honor the 50th birthday of the Notorious B.I.G. at 4 p.m.
--2nd Annual B.I.G. Dinner Gala in honor of Notorious B.I.G.'s 50th birthday celebration at Gustavino's at 8 p.m.

Saturday:
--Christopher Wallace Birthday Block Party May 21 at 226 St James Place in Bed-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. in front of Christopher Wallace's childhood home.

June 10:
--Lincoln Center will host an orchestral tribute to The Notorious B.I.G. on June 10, featuring music arranged and conducted by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson.

RELATED | Brooklyn mural marks 25 years since rap legend Biggie Smalls' murder
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Local leaders, artists, and rappers were on hand for the tribute's reveal on Fulton Street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section.



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