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The MTA is releasing special-edition MetroCards in honor of Biggie’s birthday

Plus: the Empire State Building will light up to honor the rapper's 50th birthday.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

This upcoming Saturday would have been the great Notorious B.I.G.'s 50th birthday—and New York City is looking to celebrate the late icon the best way it knows how.

The MTA has announced that it will release a special-edition MetroCard featuring an image of Biggie, only available at three subway stations near his old Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood—so you might want to hang out in the area to snag one for yourself. Needless to say, we expect these to become collector's items.

But there's more: Fifteen minutes after sunset on Saturday, the Empire State Building will light up in dynamic red and white with a rotating crown and the number "50" in the mast. 

The NYC landmark will also host a lighting ceremony to honor the Brooklyn-born rapper and songwriter (born Christopher Wallace) on Friday at 4pm while the on-site Observatory will feature a life-size photorealistic avatar of Biggie for guests to snap photos of throughout the entire weekend. 

On the other side of town, in Brooklyn, the entrance to the Barclays Center will display a video montage of some of the artist's records.

As fans know, the artist was shot while heading home from Vibe magazine's Soul Train Awards after-party in Los Angeles back in 1997. He was only 24 years old then.

Clearly, Biggie left a big mark on New York's music scene, as also proven by the various murals depicting him that have gone up throughout town in recent years. Back in March of this year, for example, two new pieces of public art went up in Bed-Stuy to mark the 25th anniversary of his passing.

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