The Notorious B.I.G.’s Family Unites to Celebrate His Impact at Biggie Inspires Event
Biggie received plenty of love the Brooklyn way this fall thanks to Optimo Cigars. In honor of the 25th anniversary of the release of The Notorious B.I.G.'s classic 1994 album, Ready to Die, Optimo Cigars held their Biggie Inspires art exhibit and celebration event on Sept. 13 at the William Vale Hotel's Westlight Lounge in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The star-studded event showcased artworks submitted to Optimo Cigars' Biggie Inspires contest. Over 170 artists created and submitted their creative works to the competition. Two first-place winners were chosen: Seattle art teacher Hoa Hong and Dayton, Ohio artist Cinque Smith. Hong's work was turned into a life-size mural on display in Biggie's Brooklyn hometown of Bedford–Stuyvesant while Smith's art was presented in Williamsburg. A third mural, commissioned by Optimo Cigars, was on display in Atlanta.
At the event, several Biggie portraits from the contest were displayed throughout the lounge area for attendees to take photos and share on social media. Biggie's mother, Voletta Wallace, was at the celebration, along with his children, Christopher Jordan Wallace and T'yanna Wallace. Other guests who attended the party included Rick Ross, Faith Evans, Stevie J, Lil' Kim, Christian Combs, DRoc and Lil Cease, among others.
Rick Ross, who was in attendance at the event, told Billboard that B.I.G.'s musical legacy will last forever. "He blew my mind," Ross said. "If Biggie we're here right now, I wish I could tell him that. Even on the way here, we were just talking about how he's the first rapper we heard to use the word 'stupendous.' The wordplay is next level. The flows are so grimy, yet so classic. He will live on."
Check out a video from Optimo Cigars' Biggie Inspires Art Exhibit and Celebration event below.
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See Photos From "Biggie Inspires" Mural Event and Exhibit and Celebration Party