Biggie Smalls received a fitting induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Although the honor has evolved a great deal over the years, being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame remains one of the most prestigious awards in the music industry, reserved only for those who have made a monumental impact on the face of music. The Notorious B.I.G. is the latest to receive that honor, being inducted during the 35th annual ceremony, twenty-three years after his tragic death. The celebration for Biggie and his many contributions to hip hop aired on HBO Saturday, November 7th, and featured tributes from Jay-Z, Nas, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Diddy, once known as Puff Daddy in the golden era of Bad Boy Records, officially inducted his friend and the superstar frontman of his label. Diddy signed Biggie to Bad Boy back in 1993 and spent the next four years watching Big’s incredible talent take East Coast hip hop to a new level of nationwide recognition and mainstream popularity. Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, was also present for the ceremony honoring her son, as were Big’s children, Tyanna Wallace and C.J. Wallace.
Biggie’s peers took turns delivering speeches about Biggie’s life and career. “Big just wanted to be biggest, he wanted to be the best, he wanted to have influence and impact people in a positive way, and that clearly has been done all over the world,” said Diddy. Jay -Z compared Big’s artistry to the work of Alfred Hitchcock, saying, “They were these tales that was disturbing, but they all had a purpose. The human side of him came through in his music, and I think it moved the molecules in the world.”
Fellow rap icon Nas commented on Biggie’s impressive reach, saying, “I felt there was only so far New York rap could go as far as sales. Biggie changed all of that.” Biggie’s children accepted the award on his behalf, making him only the second solo rap artist to be inducted into the Hall of Fame after Tupac Shakur.