Hip-hop and music fans around the world took some time to remember the late Notorious B.I.G. this past Thursday, on what was the 20th anniversary of his untimely death. Some fans even took the words of the late iconic rapper onto the house floor inside the United States Capitol Building. The murder of the rapper, real name Chris Wallace, who died after being shot in Los Angeles in 1997, is still a mystery. Biggie’s name and music never faded, however, and he has since become an icon in his home borough of Brooklyn, New York City where he grew up.
On Sunday, the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, which moved into the New York City borough in 2012, honored the rapper on what was declared, “Biggie Night.” The evening’s events were highlighted at halftime, when the NBA organization welcomed the mother of Wallace, Biggie’s two children, singer Faith Evans and others onto the court to help remember their fallen family member and friend.
“This is my very, very first professional basketball game,” Wallace’s mother said with a smile over the microphone. “From the bottom of my heart, I have to remember what my son said in the past - Brooklyn, we did it.”
Biggie’s longtime friend and collaborator, P. Diddy, was also on hand to help the team retire the number 72, which was featured on a banner and lifted up into the rafters of the Barclays Center. The banner also featured a lyric from Biggie’s 1994 song, “Juicy,” reading, “Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way.”
Biggie's former disc jockey, DJ Enuff, also spun tracks at halftime.
“Biggie is a landmark,” Enuff was heard saying over the mic. “He truly is a landmark of BK. If there are laws and paperwork that protects landmarks I think he deserves that and the fact that [The Nets] are going to do that is a blessing and I appreciate it.”
The music of the Notorious B.I.G. is routinely played during Brooklyn Nets home games. The team had taken on a hip-hop branding since relocating to the New York City borough with the help of former owner and fellow rap star, Jay Z.