Brooklyn Nets to honor Notorious B.I.G. with ‘Biggie Night’
By Brandon Simmons
For nearly 20 years, March 9 has always been a somber day in hip hop; it was the day Brooklyn-born rapper Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down in Los Angeles, California. Now on the 20th anniversary of his passing, his hometown team will celebrate his memory. According to ESPN, the Brooklyn Nets will hold “Biggie Night” on Sunday to honor the legendary rapper. It will be an event that looks to do some real good for his legacy.
The festivities will include some of Biggie’s music as well appearances by his mother, Voletta, best friend/music mogul Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs as well as his children Chris, T’Yanna, Mark and Wayne. If you ask Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment CEO Brett Yormak, a celebration of this type was a no-brainer. He says that honoring the rapper’s legacy is part of a larger something the company strives to do.
“We infuse Brooklyn wherever possible,” explained Yormak. “The architecture of the building speaks to the borough, 85 percent of our employees are from Brooklyn. When you think of the music we play, we obviously play tribute to artists who have made Brooklyn a home or are from Brooklyn starting with Jay Z, Biggie and many others. It has become part of our DNA. He’s from Brooklyn. We play his music. We consider ourselves the home of hip-hop — both Brooklyn and Barclays Center. It is very appropriate that this night takes place in Brooklyn”
The Notorious B.I.G. was born Christopher Wallace in Brooklyn’s Bedford -Stuyvescent neighborhood. He started rapping as a teenager while selling drugs at the same time until he went to jail. After his release, he created a demo tape, which was discovered by New York DJ Mister Cee and an Editor at The Source Magazine; the latter put him in his legendary Unsigned Hype article. Soon, he linked up with Combs on Bad Boy Records and released his debut album in 1994, Ready to Die. Biggie enjoyed plenty of success afterwards with various shows and awards. However, in 1996 he started to get caught up in the infamous “East Coast vs. West Coast” rivalry with former friend and fellow artist, 2Pac. Unfortunately, the feud resulted in both of their shooting deaths. 2Pac was shot on September 6, 1996 and died 7 days later; Biggie was murdered 6 months later on March 9, 1997. Both murders have not been solved.
When Biggie was alive, the Nets were still in New Jersey and did not move to Brooklyn until 2012. This is a smart move for the team to do to connect with that community. Today, many fans mourn the death of one the greatest hip hop artists of all time every chance that they get. His music still lives and can be felt as if he was still alive.
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