By Thalia Perez
NEW YORK — New York City is honoring one of its most legendary home-grown entertainers — the Notorious B.I.G.
He would have turned 50 on Saturday, and some of the biggest names in hip-hop paid tribute to him Friday night.
As CBS2’s Thalia Perez reports, dozens of music industry heavy hitters stepped out for Biggie Smalls, considered one of the most influential rappers of all time.
“Almost everyone knows who he is. If you don’t, like, where have you been? But I want to see the whole world, I want to see so many positive things come out of this,” rapper Lil’ Kim said.
“It’s great to be around and to be able to continue to celebrate him on his 50th birthday. It’s huge for the culture, for hip hop, for the family,” said C.J. Wallace, Biggie’s son.
The late rapper’s legacy was honored earlier in the day at the Empire State Building.
“He’s not here, and I wished that he would see all of you,” said Voletta Wallace, Biggie’s mother. “I would have loved for my son to be here to witness this. I love my son. I will always say I’m a mother forever.”
All over the city, a number of commemorations will take place, including a special lighting of the Empire State Building mast.
Fifteen minutes after sunset Saturday, the building will light up red and white with a rotating crown and number 50 on the mast.
On Thursday, Mayor Eric Adams presented Biggie’s son with a proclamation from the city recognizing how his father changed music and the landscape of hip-hop.
“He was able to turn pain into purpose. He used his music to define what was happening in everyday life,” Adams said.
“Big saved everybody’s life but his. Just to see that Empire State Building light up tonight is gonna mean something real epic to me, to the family. I thank you, brother, for changing my life, happy 50th,” rapper Lil’ Cease said.
Even the MTA is marking Big’s birthday, unveiling a special MetroCard featuring his portrait that will be released at select train stations in the late rapper’s home borough of Brooklyn.