Biggie Smalls fans packed subway stations across Brooklyn on Saturday to collect MetroCards commemorating the late hip-hop rapper’s 50th birthday.
About 50,000 cards were packed into MetroCard machines at four stations in Brooklyn, where Biggie aka “Notorious BIG” lived.
People lined up about 100 at a time and waited for hours at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center station to buy some of the tickets, which featured a portrait of the late rapper.
Many said it was worth it.
“It’s been a long, hot two hours,” said Melissa Pajuelo, 30, of Brighton Beach, after buying five MetroCards. “Two is for me. Two more are for my boyfriend and the last one is for my homeboy.”
“It’s Biggie Smalls. He’s an icon,” she added. “Who wouldn’t want to be born and raised in Brooklyn?”
“I’m not even going to use the card,” said Carmen Torres, 62, wearing a Biggie T-shirt. “I’ll just keep it in a safe place.”
Cameron McGinn, 27, of Manhattan, said the MTA’s commemorative MetroCards are a smart business move.
“I’ve always been a huge Biggie fan,” he said. “This is a cool way and unique item to get and show off true fandom.”
“People are clearly in favour,” he added. “I would come back for another.”
An enterprising man tried to make BIG money scalping commemorative cards to people who wanted to avoid the long wait.
“Forty dollars! Who wants it?” he yelled.
The MetroCards are one of many ways the Big Apple is celebrating the 50th birthday of the late rap star, who was gunned down and murdered in 1997 after leaving a Los Angeles vibe party. He was 24. The case is still unsolved.
Biggie, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, signed to Sean Combs’ Bad Boy label when it launched in 1993. His debut album, Ready to Die, was released a year later to worldwide acclaim, spawning hit singles like “Big Poppa” and “Juicy.”