Mural honoring Biggie Smalls unveiled in Brooklyn 25 years after his death
NEW YORK -- Wednesday marks 25 years since the murder of rapper The Notorious B.I.G.
Born Christopher Wallace, he always represented Brooklyn, even after receiving international acclaim.
CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas has more on how his neighborhood continues show its love all these years later.
It's hard to believe it has been a quarter century since rapper Biggie Smalls graced a mic.
"Big was just a person to let you know that anything is possible. Ever since he wanted to be a rapper, he chased that dream," rapper Lil' Cease said.
To Lil' Cease, Biggie was like a brother.
"Took us out these streets and put us in the studio and got us a record deal and changed our life for the better," he said.
The beats on Biggie's tracks still create a vibe, but it's his lyricism and storytelling that many say remains unmatched.
"He added a new type of glamour to what was being called 'Gangster Rap.' He gave a New York flavor to it," said Rocky Bucano, president and CEO of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, which is set to open in 2024. "His music had a lot of melodies. It incorporated jazz, R&B, pop, and soul, and you can hear it in all of his tracks."
Biggie added a raw honesty about his life and struggles that resonated deeply with fans.
It all began at Fulton Street and Saint James Place in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Though the neighborhood is different now, the love for Biggie remains, and a mural is just the latest way he's being honored.
"We wanted to show our art and what we represent for our culture," artist Eli Salome-Diaz said.
On one side of the mural is Biggie's graduation picture and on the other side it shows him as a star in his iconic Coogi sweater.
"His legacy is living longer than him right now at this moment. His son just turned 25, so it's kind of crazy," Lil' Cease.
And his music is still relevant to a new generation.
The Notorious B.I.G. was murdered in Los Angeles while embroiled in a feud between East Coast and West Coast rappers. The case remains unsolved.
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