Arts & Entertainment

Brooklyn commemorates Biggie Smalls with limited edition subway cards

New York City, US, May 21 (EFE).- Thousands of New York fans of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G, aka Biggie Smalls, queued for hours Saturday to get their hands on a limited edition subway card commemorating what would have been his 50th birthday.

A total of 50,000 MetroCards were sold at three stations in the district of Brooklyn where the musical legend was born.

“I’ve been waiting four-and-a-half hours, so when it’s my turn I’m going to buy a subway card for every hour I’ve been waiting,” fan and collector Santron told EFE at the Clinton-Washington Ave station, wearing a T-shirt with the rapper’s face.

To Santron, who is also from Brooklyn, Biggie was a genius. And he’s not the only one to think so: Biggie’s 1994 debut album “Ready to Die” was hailed by fans and critics alike as influential and the rapper is widely considered one of the greatest of all time.

Although 19-year-old Precious had not even been born when Biggie, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, died on Mar. 9, 1997 after he was shot in Los Angeles at the age of 24, she said that it was worth waiting more than four hours to get hold of a card with the face of the rapper wearing a crown.

“(Biggie) has been a great inspiration for me. At school they have told us about him and how his music was important for Black people, and that they shot him and they never knew who the murderer was,” said the teenager who waited with her mother, who is also a fan.

Mother and daughter say they are not going to use their subway card – they plan to frame it and hang it in the living room.

A policeman who spent all Saturday next to the machine that sells the cards said there were queues throughout the day and that he had already seen one of the cards being auctioned on eBay for $100 – in New York this subway card costs $1.

Notorious B.I.G. used to put excerpts of his life in his songs and Brooklyn frequently appeared in his lyrics. More than a quarter of a century after his death, huge murals of the rapper’s face still appear in this part of New York.

The Empire State Building was also to light up in red and white, with a spinning crown on its mast in honor of the late artist.

Next month, the Lincoln Center will present an orchestral tribute to Biggie. The gala will be held on June 10, will be free to the public and broadcast live on Twitch. EFE


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