Lil Kim Hosts Second Annual Notorious BIG Gala Dinner – VIBE.com

Lil Kim Hosts Second Annual Notorious BIG Gala Dinner - VIBE.com

Heavy rain didn’t stop some of the names in music and pop culture from celebrating The Notorious BIG’s 50th anniversary at the 2nd Annual BIG Gala Dinner at New York’s Guastavino on Friday night (May 20).

Hosted by Lil Kim in conjunction with The Alyi V Experience and Culture Creative, the star-studded event celebrated the late King of New York’s legacy with friends like Sway Calloway, Smiff-N-Wesson, Fat Joe and, of course, Junior MAFIA, on the red carpet and sharing personal stories of their relationship with the late rapper. DJ Enuff, Biggie’s DJ, spun on 1 and 2 during the gala.

When we asked about Big’s influence on pop culture 25 years after his death, MSNBC journalist and host Ari Melber told VIBE, “I think people who inspire want things to come true. That’s why hip-hop is such an ambitious culture, and people misunderstand that. People ask ‘Why do they do [rappers] talking about money, why are they talking about brands? Well, if you’re in a place where you’ve never been allowed to have anything, where your marginalization, economic, political and otherwise, is fundamental, and getting something in itself breaks down a barrier. He then referenced Biggie’s “Juicy,” where the Brooklyn MC dedicated his debut album to the “teachers who told me I’d never be anything.”

Jamel Martin from JMartinvisuals

“If you’re from a place where your teacher isn’t trying to bring you down, you might not understand that,” he added. “And it’s great for the people who are in these schools! But we had a lot of people in American schools who felt like him.

Ceaser Emanuel from VH1 Black Ink Crew also discussed Big’s lasting impact in New York. “Big would have had an influence on all of New York,” he exclusively told VIBE. “He set a bar that we still live by. That we’re always trying to, how can I say, get over it, but you won’t forget a person who laid that kind of foundation.

The evening began with journalist and radio personality Sway Calloway reminiscing about his relationship with BIG and introducing the official MCs of the evening, Lil Kim and Lil Cease. “The first time I met Big was in the Bay Area,” Calloway recalled of his friendship with Big. In the early 90s, Calloway started a promotion company called Streetwise which helped record labels expand their reach outside of the New York market. “When BIG first came to the Bay Area, we rocked your dad, we protected your dad, we fed your dad lots of food, CJ,” Calloway joked at the dinner party. gala. “And we took him everywhere in Oakland, California… I took him to my grandmother’s house next to the High Street. Big came to my grandmother’s. At that time, he just happened… He was one of the most humble and successful people I ever met.

Fat Joe and others at Biggie's Birthday Gala

Jamel Martin from JMartinvisuals

Lil Kim (in her first of two overnight outfit changes) and Lil Cease thank everyone for coming out and acknowledging Faith Evans and Lil Wayne, who couldn’t make it despite their best efforts. “One thing about Lil Kim, she’s gonna ride for a BIG,” she told the crowd, remembering her mentor. Kim also thanked journalist and event planner Alyi V for planning the party with such a tight deadline. The event, sponsored by Pepsi and Lexus, also gave attendees a preview of Lexus’ #LexusxFrankWhite commercial featuring Lil Cease and CJ Wallace.

Then the musical part of the evening started with a performance of “Can’t You See” by Total from The Frank White Experience, a tribute band to Notorious BIG. Fat Joe performed “Big Poppa” with Lil Cease.

“I’ve probably listened to ‘Big Poppa’ 75 times in the last 48 hours to prepare for this,” Joe said after the performance. Cease kept the crowd’s energy high throughout the night with his dancing, performances and jokes (“I love you like a bag of weed bro,” he said in joking at Sway after being introduced.) Surviving Mobb Deep member and Biggie’s birthday twin, Havoc, performed “Last Days” and the remix of “Quiet Storm” with Lil Kim.

Throughout the night, Cease, Kim, The Frank White Experience, and various relatives of Big gathered on stage to perform classics like “All About The Benjamins,” “Hypnotized,” and more.

lil kim and lil stop and

Jamel Martin from JMartinvisuals

As it was Biggie’s 50th birthday and 25 years since the MC’s death, the night was described as bittersweet by many, including his son CJ Wallace, who was just five months old at the time of his death. dad.

While the focus of the evening was to celebrate the late Frank White’s 50th birthday, the gala also had another theme, which was uplifting and pouring love into the living legacy of Big, his children, CJ and T Yanna Wallace. They were the king and queen of the evening, as everyone who touched the stage and passed their table showed love, respect and admiration for entrepreneurs. T’yanna, Big’s first born, runs a very successful boutique named Notoriouss Clothing. As CJ, Founder of Frank White Co and Think BIG, uses his platform to advocate for fair cannabis legalization, criminal justice reform, and economic reinvestment in communities most affected by the “war on drugs”.

The family brought Biggie’s birthday with Wallace performing his father’s iconic hit ‘One More Chance’, while a crown-topped cake adorned the stage. After midnight, everyone sang “Happy Birthday” and kept celebrating until 3 a.m., thanks to the afterparty at the new Brooklyn Chophouse venue in Times Square, which is owned by a music executive. . Robert “Don Pooh” Cummins, who actually got his nickname from Biggie.

When we asked CJ what he wanted the history books to say about his father, he told VIBE, “He was an amazing creator that people use to study all types of people, not just people in the music industry. He was a different type of individual. So I really think people can study his mind, his way of thinking… I always try to understand the decisions he made. There are so many books that can be written about this man. It’s crazy.”

cj wallace standing in front of the cake

Jamel Martin from JMartinvisuals

biggie's 50th anniversary gala

Jamel Martin from JMartinvisuals

cj wallace and tyanna wallace in

Jamel Martin from JMartinvisuals

dinner table at biggie's birthday gala

Jamel Martin from JMartinvisuals

photos from biggie's gala dinner

Jamel Martin from JMartinvisuals

lil kim and lil quit

Jamel Martin from JMartinvisuals

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