20 years after his tragic murder in 1997, Hip-Hop icon Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls, is set to be honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). The deceased rapper will receive the Founders Award at the 30th ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards.
Biggie’s award will be accepted by his mother Ms. Voletta Wallace, his wife Faith Evans, his children, and former managers and estate consultant Wayne Barrow and Mark Pitts. According to ASCAP President Paul Williams, “Biggie was a legend in his own time and his legacy lives on through his music,” he went on to say “Like all songwriters, he was a master storyteller, but it was the realism in his rhymes that captured so many.”
The Brooklyn-born rapper is known as one of the most iconic Hip-Hop artists of all time. Before his death his debut album, Ready to Die, produced popular singles “Juicy”, “Big Poppa”, and “One More Chance”. Each single went Platinum and was successful not only in Hip-Hop, but received recognition on Pop charts and praise from mainstream media outlets.
His single “Hypnotize” from his sophomore album Life After Death also became highly successful. It was the last single Biggie released while he was still alive. “Mo Money Mo Problems” followed the success of “Hypnotize” and garnered a Grammy nomination. The entire album received three total Grammy nominations in 1998 and eventually was certified Diamond.
Previous recipients of the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Founders Award include Quincy Jones, Dr. Dre, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jermaine Dupri, Berry Gordy Jr. & Motown Industries, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and many more.
The Rhythm & Soul Music Awards will take place on June 22 at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.