The Notorious B.I.G. was the stage name for Christopher Wallace, a major rap artist also known to his legions of fans as Biggie Smalls, or simply Biggie, who many credit as one of the greatest rap artists of all time.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Wallace signed to Sean “Puffy” Combs’ label Bad Boy Records in 1993. His debut album Ready to Die was met with widespread critical acclaim, and made him the central figure in East Coast hip hop at a time when the West Coast rappers were dominating the American hip hop scene.
In 1996, while recording his second album, Wallace became ensnarled in the escalating East Coast–West Coast hip hop feud. And following Tupac Shakur’s death in a drive-by Las Vegas shooting in September 1996, speculations of involvement in Shakur’s murder by criminal elements orbiting the Bad Boy circle circulated as a result of Wallace’s public feud with Shakur.
On March 9, 1997, while visiting Los Angeles, Wallace was murdered in a drive-by shooting. The assailant remains unidentified. Wallace’s second album Life After Death, was released two weeks later where it soared to number one on the Billboard 200 music chart.
So yes Biggie was a playa, a playa who now has his own limited edition Budweiser can that was created in partnership with the Christopher Wallace Estate.
Exclusively available in his hometown of New York City, the limited edition cans which debuted on July 14th feature a hand drawn sketch of Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace and phrases including “Brooklyn’s Finest,” and “King of New York” with the Brooklyn skyline in the background.
“I am honored to know that a brand such as Budweiser wanted to celebrate my son in this way,” says Biggie’s mother Voletta Wallace. “Christopher’s legacy and brand value is extremely important to myself and the family and memorializing him on the can of an iconic beer brand as “Budweiser” is something I believe he would be happy with.”
Budweiser is also introducing the Budweiser X Biggie Collection with all kinds of “street gear.” One standout piece from the collection features the portrait of Biggie with his staple crown within the Budweiser bowtie to commemorate this partnership.
The Notorious B.I.G. Budweiser Tall Boy can is the most iconic can collaboration we’ve done to date,” said Daniel Blake, Group VP Marketing, Budweiser & Value at Anheuser-Busch. “We’re grateful for the collaboration with the Christopher Wallace Estate and Biggie’s mother Voletta Wallace to bring this special can to life so that we can celebrate the legacy of the greatest rapper of all time.”
In addition to the collectible cans and merchandise, Budweiser is hosting a live concert in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Bandshell on August 19th to celebrate the life and music of the late rapper.
The DJ driven show will feature the past, present and future of Brooklyn artists, including collaborators of Biggie and artists influenced by the rapper. Featured artists include Busta Rhymes, Lil Kim, The Lox, DJ Steph Cakes and more. The concert is free and open to the public 21+.
Special thanks to Wikipedia which we leaned on heavily in recounting Biggie’s career…