Diddy officially inducted The Notorious B.I.G. into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday (November 7) during a ceremony broadcast on HBO. The special segment included tributes from JAY-Z, Nas, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, Biggie’s mother Voletta Wallace, daughter Tyanna Wallace and son C.J. Wallace.
Diddy, who signed Biggie to his Bad Boy Records imprint in 1993, delivered an impactful speech about his late friend and collaborator, pointing out his inimitable swagger.
“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,” Diddy said. “Nobody has come close to the way Biggie sounds, to the way he raps, to the frequency that he hits. Tonight we are inducting the greatest rapper of all time into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Notorious B.I.G. representing Brooklyn, New York, we up in here!”
JAY-Z, who also spoke, compared Biggie’s songwriting to the work of celebrated filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock.
“They were these tales that was disturbing, but they all had a purpose,” Hov said. “The human side of him came through in his music, and I think it moved the molecules in the world. I know for a fact that he pointed me in a direction and I’m sure that’s happened to millions and millions of people worldwide.”’
Nas then stepped up to the podium and talked about Biggie’s trailblazing ways.
“Rap music is all about who’s gonna be the king,” he said. “The West Coast, they was sellin’ millions of records, and before Big, I felt like there was only so far New York rap could go as far as sales. Biggie changed all of that.”
The segment closed with Biggie’s children speaking on his legacy.
“Our father was one of the founding fathers of Hip Hop,” C.J. said. “He helped revolutionize what was a young art form for the Black community and the world. I’m honored to share his name and his dedication to Black music, creativity, self-expression and Black freedom. I love you, Meemaw.
“Thanks for teaching us who Christopher Wallace was as a son, friend, poet, artist, and father. We love you Meemaw. We love you dad. Brooklyn, we did it!”
Biggie was shot and killed in March 1997 at the age of 25. His murder remains unsolved. Watch Tyanna and C.J.’s speeches below and find the ceremony here.