BET is honoring The Notorious B.I.G. on the 20th anniversary of his untimely passing with daylong programming that will feature the iconic rapper’s friends, collaborators, and fans.
The network’s celebration of Biggie’s life, which will air on Thursday (March 9), will feature appearances by Lil Cease, Raekwon, DJ Premier, 112, Stevie J, DJ Clark Kent, and Funkmaster Flex, who will participate in a special titled “I Talked to Biggie.”
Frequent collaborator Mister Cee also shares a special memory in the episode. “I’m six months behind in rent,” he says (via Billboard). “I never told him a number. I go see the accountant the next day and he had a check for me for $10,000.”
Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s Lil Cease reflects on his late friend in the teaser. “I definitely remember my last conversation with Big,” he says. “We wasn’t speaking. He wasn’t speaking to me because I did some messy stuff and messed up some things in L.A. about two or three days before he passed. He didn’t speak to me for one whole day. Of course, I was miserable. That’s like my best friend. My homie…He was still cool. He would pass me a blunt. He just wasn’t speaking to me.”
Remy Ma, Fat Joe, Trey Songz, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, The-Dream, Syd, Jason Derulo, DeJ Loaf, and Method Man will all also take part in “Kick in the Lyrics,” a video tribute modeled after “Kick in the Door.” The stars will all perform acapella versions of the classic first verse from Biggie’s “Juicy.”
Beyond that, BET Jams will honor Rap’s Alfred Hitchcock with a marathon of Biggie music videos during its Throwback Thursday hours.
The Notorious B.I.G. died in a still-unresolved shooting in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. This year, his widow Faith Evans will honor his life with the duets album The King & I, set to drop May 19, two days before what would have been his 45th birthday.