It’s been 25 years since The Notorious B.I.G.’s untimely passing. But his legacy lives on through his family and friends.
Last week, the second annual Biggie Dinner Gala went down Guastavino’s in New York City. The attendees included host Lil’ Kim, Lil’ Cease, Junior M.A.F.I.A., Havoc of Mobb Deep, Fat Joe, Smif-N-Wessun, and B.I.G.’s children T’yanna and CJ Wallace.
The bittersweet vibes were amplified by the joyous crowd who began arriving at the red carpet around 8 PM, most of whom were excited to speak on their connections to Biggie and their favorite songs by the late entertainer. “As a rapper, listening to B.I.G. was one of the main reasons why I got started,” says Bri Steves, who donned a white tuxedo blouse dress. “His flow, his cadence, his storytelling, all of that helped me and inspired me.”
Lil’ Cease, a brother figure and friend of The Notorious B.I.G, also spoke on the influence and loss of Biggie. “I have too many memories but I’ll just sum it all in, I miss being around him. Just vibing with him, smoking with him, watching him work, watching what he did for us…he was one of the most humble people in the world. Just being in his presence was a blessing alone.”
Those sentiments were then echoed by B.I.G.’s son CJ Wallace who spoke on how his father has allowed him to continue a legacy of his own. “I’ve been in the acting industry for a while working on that craft, pushing the people around me as I have a lot of creative friends around me who I want to encourage as well but Frank White (his clothing brand), that’s my brand. That’s what I’m going to always do.”
From the carpet, guests were led up the candle-lit winding staircase which led to an open ballroom adorned with a B.I.G. ice sculpture within the ethereal decor. As guests ate, hosts Sway, Lil’ Kim, and Lil’ Cease took the stage to thank friends and family for attending while sharing personal antidotes about the legendary artist. DJ Enuff and a lively band kept the energy alive with renditions of classics. But it was Lil’ Kim’s performance of joints such as “All About The Benjamin’s” and “Quiet Storm” with Lil’ Cease and Havoc that had most people standing on their feet.
By the conclusion of the event, the warm family affair thrown by Kim proved just how much B.I.G. is still loved and appreciated even 25 years later.
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