On the 20th anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.’s death, the lyrics of the legendary rapper echoed on Capitol Hill.
New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries paid tribute to Biggie Smalls Thursday night in a passionate speech on the House floor, hailing the artist’s “rags-to-riches life story” as “the classic embodiment of the American dream.”
“Biggie Smalls, Frank White, the king of New York. He died 20 years ago today in a tragedy that occurred in Los Angeles. But his words live on forever,” Jeffries said while standing next to a large printed portrait of the rapper.
Jeffries represents New York’s 8th congressional district, which includes Brooklyn, where Biggie was born and raised.
“We know he went from negative to positive and emerged as one of the world most important hip-hop stars. His rags-to-riches life story is the classic embodiment of the American dream. Biggie Smalls is gone but he will never be forgotten. Rest in piece Notorious B.I.G.. Where Brooklyn at?” Jeffries continued.
Jeffries honored the rapper by showing off his own rap skills and began his heartfelt tribute by rapping lyrics from the artist’s hit 1994 single, “Juicy,” which chronicles the rapper’s rise to the top.
“It was all a dream/ I used to read Word Up magazine/ Salt’n’Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine/ Hangin’ pictures on my wall/ Every Saturday Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl.”
Jeffries was not alone in his tribute, as other members of Congress also shared messages on social media honoring the rapper.
New York Rep. Yvette Clarke, who represents the 9th congressional district, which also is located in Brooklyn, also shared lyrics to “Juicy” in a Twitter tribute:
“I like the life I live / I went from negative to positive and if it’s all good / if you don’t know / now you know.” #NotoriousBIG”
And Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse shared his own tribute, tweeting, “RIP Biggie. (He changed the game.)” Thursday morning.
The rapper, whose real name is Christopher Wallace, was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on March 9, 1997, in Los Angeles at the age of 24 and his murder has never been solved.