The hip hop world anticipates the 50th birthday of one of the greatest rappers ever. On May 21, Christopher Wallace would have been celebrating 50 years on earth if he didn’t prematurely die in 1997 due to murder. His legend has only grown from that incident.  In February, a Super Deluxe Box Set for Life After Death was announced for the album’s 25th anniversary, and in March an official collection of B.I.G. NFTs was revealed.To commemorate the late rapper on his 50th birthday, there will be several events in his hometown of New York City according to a report by Vibe Magazine. On the day of his birth, the Empire State building will be illuminated red and white, along with a crown spinning on its mast. The colors are in reference to the Notorious B.I.G.’s massively influential classic, Ready to Die. The day before the display, there will be a lighting ceremony which will include Biggie’s mom, his children, and his friends Lil Cease and Lil Kim.

The New York City MTA will also release a special edition MetroCard on the birthday, which will feature Biggie and will be exclusively available at three stops near where Biggie lived- Lafayette Avenue, Washington Avenue, and Atlantic Avenue.

The celebration will continue into June, when there will be a black-tie event featuring an orchestral tribute to Notorious at Lincoln Center. This event will coincide with the release of the Life After Death 25th Anniversary Super Deluxe box set, which will comprise 8 LPs, a booklet of rare photos, liner notes from Sheldon Pearce, and reflections from members of the crew who made the original landmark record.

Life After Death was an instant classic, debuting at #1 on the Billboard charts and boasting two back-to-back chart-topping singles, “Hypnotize” and “Mo Money Mo Problems.” It cemented Biggie’s reputation as one of the greatest rappers of all time.