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#NYC Celebrates #TheNotoriousBIG on His #50th Birthday with Series of Special Events!

Notorious B.I.G. Metrocard

Notorious B.I.G. Metrocard
Photo of a limited edition MetroCard commemorating the Notorious B.I.G.’s 50th birthday.

If it’s one thing that you’ll learn while listening to a song by The Notorious B.I.G., it’s exactly where he was from. The late Brooklyn legend made sure that whomever was listening to his music knew that Brooklyn, N.Y.C. was his home! May 21st marks the 50th birthday of Christopher Wallace known to the world as The Notorious B.I.G. and known to many as the greatest rapper of all time. To commemorate the Hip-Hop giant on his Golden 50th, his hometown will host a series of special events.

On Friday, May 20th, the Empire State Building will host a lighting ceremony to honor the iconic rapper. Visitors will be able to take pictures with a life-size photorealistic avatar of Biggie on the building’s 80th floor conservatory. The lighting ceremony will also include appearances by singer Faith Evans, rappers Lil Kim, Jada Kiss and Lil Cease as well as Biggie’s daughter T’yanna Wallace. Well known protégé of The Notorious B.I.G., Lil Kim also announced via Instagram that she will be hosting her 2nd annual B.I.G. Dinner Gala on Friday, May 20th to honor her late mentor.

The Barclays Center wil display images of Biggie’s records on their screens throughout the weekend. Finally on Saturday May 21st, shortly after sunset, the Empire State Building will light up with the colors red and white with a rotating crown and the number “50.” The colors red and white will symbolize the colors of The Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 debut album Ready to Die.

Cover art for The Notorious B.I.G’s 1994 debut album Ready to Die.

In addition to all of this, the MTA will be releasing a limited edition MetroCard to commemorate the Hip-Hop giant. The MetroCard will only be available at three Brooklyn train stations including Lafayette Avenue; Clinton-Washington Avenue and Atlantic Avenue on the A, C & G train lines. So while fans are traveling to all these special events, they can also have a little piece of Christopher Wallace with them!

The Empire State Building representing for The Notorious B.I.G. bay-bay-bay-bay!

What a way to celebrate the greatest rapper to ever grace the microphone. #BrooklynGirlCode™ will be celebrating privately like we do every year for The Notorious B.I.G’s birthday by turning up the volume on our speakers as high as it can go and blasting Biggie’s timeless hits all weekend long. That’s how we show our love for Biggie because it’s the Brooklyn way! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ <3

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A Night w/ Umar Bin Hassan @ Petra’s!

Poet Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets
Poet Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets
Official Petra’s event flier for Poet, Umar Bin Hassan of legendary spoken word group The Last Poets.

Umar Bin Hassan of legendary spoken word group, The Last Poets will be performing at Petra’s bar in Charlotte, North Carolina on August 21st, 2021. Special guests performing on August 21st include Bluz Rodgers, Tony McCullough, Antonio Diaz plus other invited guests to be announced. Should be a night filled with some beautiful people! When I asked my dad for a quote about him performing at his upcoming show on the 21st, he replied:

“Yeah, I’m excited about it. I’m excited about it. Okay?” -Umar Bin Hassan

For more information about this show please contact Jibril Hough @ 704.258.0304. -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

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Congrats to #ZailaAvantGarde on Winning the #Scripps National #SpellingBee!!

Zaila Avant-garde shows off her pretty new hardware after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee on July 8th, 2021. Photo courtesy of Scripps National Spelling Bee Instagram account.

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word “Murraya” is defined as a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees (family Rutaceae) having pinnate leaves and flowers with imbricated petals. However, to a young 14-year-old girl from New Orleans, Louisiana by the name of Zaila Avant-garde, the word “Murraya” means a whole lot more than that!

On July 8th, 2021 Zaila Avant-garde made history by becoming the first African-American (Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica was the first Black contestant to win the title in 1998) to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the competition’s 96 year history. The event which was televised live on ESPN on Thursday evening drew a VIP crowd including First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden who was there to witness Avant-garde become a national champion! In addition to her spelling talents, Avant-garde also enjoys playing basketball and holds three Guinness World Records for dribbling the most basketballs at one time. She’s amazing! With everything going on in the world right now, it’s little victories like these that are so special.

Congrats to Zaila Avant-garde and all the contestants of this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. Watch the video of Avante-garde becoming a national champion by spelling the word “Murraya” below. It was the twirl at the end for us! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

Zaila Avant-garde is the winner!!
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Audrey Jackson Is Making Sure the Legacy of #PopSmoke Continues Through His #ShootForTheStars Foundation!

#BrooklynGirlCode creator, Aziza Hassan (left) with Audrey Jackson, mother of rapper Pop Smoke in Brooklyn on April 10th, 2021. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode.

It’s hard to believe it’s been one whole year since Brooklyn rap phenomenon Pop Smoke (born Bashar Barakah Jackson) passed away. The young, talented rapper was just getting his feet wet and becoming a huge force to be reckoned with in the music world when he was taken away from us during a home invasion in Los Angeles, California on February 19th, 2020. Popular for his slick dance moves and unique rap voice, Pop Smoke was gaining traction and fame all over the world and he wasn’t letting his foot off the brakes. Although his passing was a huge loss to Hip-Hop and his family and friends, of course, Pop Smoke’s mother Audrey Jackson is making sure that her son’s legacy lives on through his Shoot For The Stars Foundation. The foundation created by the late rapper is a non-profit foundation that aims to inspire inner-city youth to reach their goals despite living in difficult circumstances.

Audrey Jackson, mother of rapper Pop Smoke poses in front of a portrait of her son in Brooklyn on April 10th, 2021. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode.

On April 10, 2021 #BrooklynGirlCode along with Renayssance Entertainment got the opportunity to speak with Pop Smoke‘s mother Audrey Jackson and discuss her plans for her son’s foundation. The event held at popular Brooklyn spot, The Brooklyn Estates was apart of a full spa weekend hosted by Miss Jackson for mothers of hip-hop artists who lost their children to violence. The private event turned out to be a huge success drawing popular media outlets like News 12 Brooklyn and Fox News. Audrey Jackson is a very kind woman on a serious mission to keep her son’s legacy alive and she won’t stop until her mission is complete! Check out the full exclusive interview with Jamel Oakman of Renayssance Entertainment below.

For more information on the Shoot for the Stars Foundation visit shootforthestars.org. Long Live Pop Smoke!

Jamel Oakman for Renayssance Entertainment interviewing Audrey Jackson at The Brooklyn Estates in Brooklyn on April 10th, 2021. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode.
Audrey Jackson, mother of rapper Pop Smoke getting ready to speak with the media in Brooklyn on April 10th, 2020. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode.
Fun times in Brooklyn with friends! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3
At this year’s 2021 Billboard Music Awards, Pop Smoke won several awards for his posthumous album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. Pictured above is Pop Smoke’s mother Audrey Jackson at the BBMA’s on May 23rd, 2021 along with a family member holding all her son’s trophies.