Even almost two decades after his untimely death, Christopher Wallace — better known by stage names Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls — continues to inspire respect in the hip-hop world. Marking what would have been Notorious B.I.G.'s 43rd birthday on May 21, 2015, his fans took to social media to pay tribute to the celebrated MC.
At 22, Biggie was launched to prominence with his debut album, "Ready to Die." It documented his life growing up in Brooklyn, New York, and his experiences with violence, drugs and women. With its slick flows and storytelling abilities, the album shot to national and critical acclaim to become an instant classic.
Biggie was killed in March 9, 1997, in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles while leaving a party. His death came months after that of a rival MC, Tupac Shakur, in Las Vegas. Though his death remains a mystery, many attribute it to the East-West Coast hip-hop rivalry.
Though the music has evolved, what has remained unchanged is his legacy. Biggie's death at the age of 24 left behind legions of fans and fellow rappers alike mourning for the loss of the young but already giant figure. On Wednesday, many on social media remembered him on the day he would have turned 43.