Two decades after the legacy, riches, and diamond rings—the late Notorious B.I.G is still doing real things.
On Thursday, nonprofit performance rights firm, ASCAP said it will honor the rap legend with its acclaimed ASCAP Founders Award on June 22nd.
The ceremony will take place during the ASCAP’s 30th annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.
Notorious B.I.G’s mother, Voletta Wallace, his children, and his widow, R&B singer Faith Evans, will claim the award on his behalf.
The rapper’s former managers and estate consultants, Wayne Burrows and Mark Pitts will also accept the merit in his honor.
Born Christopher Wallace in Brooklyn, NY, Biggie became a prime figure in the East Coast Hip-Hop scene with his debut LP, Ready To Die in 1994.
Hit singles like “Juicy,” “Unbelievable,” “Big Poppa,” and “One More Chance earned the LP quadruple-platinum success a year after its release.
Biggie’s popularity quickly increased NY’s visibility in a time where West Coast rap was more dominant on the mainstream front.
On March 9, 1997, his life came to a tragic end after he was shot multiple times by an unknown assailant during a drive-by in LA.
His sophomore LP, Life After Death debuted 16 days after his death and rose to #1 on U.S. Billboard charts. The album spawned hits like “Hypnotize,” “Mo Money Mo Problems,” featuring Mase and Sean “Diddy” Combs and “Sky’s The Limit.”
ASCAP President Paul Williams calls Biggie a master storyteller.
“Biggie was a legend in his own time and his legacy lives on through his music,” he said. “Like all songwriters, he was a master storyteller, but it was the realism in his rhymes that captured so many.”
On May 19, just two days before Biggie’s 45th birthday, Evans released a tribute LP with her late husband titled The King and I. On May 26, the couple’s son, CJ Wallace, told London’s Evening Standard he’s working on his debut album. The new set is scheduled for release later on this year. CJ played the role of young Christopher Wallace in the 2009 biopic, Notorious. The 20-year-old rapper and actor did not mention whether or not his father would appear on the upcoming album.
Grammy-winning duo, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis will also be honored with the Voice of Music Award at the ASCAP ceremony. The songwriters, known for working with Janet Jackson all through her career will be enlisted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame this month. Jam and Lewis have also written chart-topping singles for Usher, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, and George Michael.
Past ASCAP Award recipients include Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Dr. Dre, and Sean Combs.
The 2017 ASCAP Rythm & Soul Music Awards will be presented by Revolt TV.