The Notorious B.I.G.’s 50th Birthday Will Be Commemorated With a New Biography

The Notorious B.I.G.‘s impact on the music industry has been felt long after his death. The Brooklyn-bred rapper was pivotal in creating the hip-hop sound that we know and love today. And his legacy continues to be celebrated to this day.

Rapper Notorious B.I.G. AKA Biggie Smalls (Christopher Wallace) performs on October 5, 1995 during the UrbanAid Lifebeat concert
The Notorious B.I.G. | Larry Busacca/Getty Images

The Notorious B.I.G. died in 1997

Biggie’s death in March 1997 has been a mystery for over two decades. He was shot and killed by an unknown gunman in Los Angeles, just six months after his onetime friend Tupac Shakur was killed. After Tupac’s death, many began to believe that Diddy, Biggie’s close friend and record label executive, hired a hitman to shoot him.

When Biggie died six months later, similar conspiracy theories began to proliferate. Record executive Suge Knight allegedly took matters into his own hands by hiring a hitman to take out Diddy’s biggest artist.

Just two weeks after his death, Biggie’s second and final album Life After Death was released. It contained the hit singles “Hypnotize” and “Mo Money Mo Problems,” both of which became his first two number-one hits.

The Notorious BIG (born Christopher Wallace) attends the 1995 Billboard Music Awards, New York, New York
The Notorious B.I.G. | Larry Busacca/WireImage

RELATED: The Notorious B.I.G.’s Jamaican Roots Helped His Career in a Big Way

The Notorious B.I.G. would’ve turned 50 in 2022

Biggie would be turning 50 years old on May 21, 2022. To celebrate his 50th birthday, a new biography documenting the life and times of The Notorious B.I.G. is set for release just in time for his birthday.

Titled It Was All a Dream: Biggie and the World That Made Him, the book will take a deep dive into the various parts of Biggie’s life and how they all molded him into the rap superstar that he eventually became. In addition to his personal life, the book will also break down the sociopolitical landscape that formed his world, with a focus on “Caribbean immigration, the Reagan era disinvestment in public education, street life, the war on drugs, mass incarceration, and the booming, creative, and influential 1990s music industry,” according to Barnes & Noble.

The book is written by journalist Justin Tinsley, who has covered The Notorious B.I.G.’s life and legacy on numerous occasions. “Remember that book I’ve been tweeting about for months? Well, now I can talk about it,” he said in a tweet announcing the book. “‘It Was All a Dream: Biggie and the World That Made Him’ dropping May 2022. In time for what would’ve been his 50th birthday.”

The book will be based on interviews Tinsley conducted with those closest to Biggie, from longtime neighbors and friends to DJs, party promoters, and journalists who befriended or crossed paths with the “Juicy” rapper before his death.

The Notorious B.I.G.’s legacy is preserved by his family and friends

The book will be the latest effort in chronicling Biggie’s legacy for future generations. In the years since his death, his mother, Voletta Wallace, has been the manager of his estate — and as a result, is in charge of preserving his legacy.

This has included a wax figure at Madame Tussaud’s, the renaming of the block she raised him on, and a number of on-screen productions. The 2009 biopic Notorious showed the life and times of Biggie Smalls and shined a light on who he was as a person behind the scenes. In 2021, she — along with Biggie’s close friend Diddy — were a part of the Netflix documentary Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell.