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Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace was a bonafide superstar, prolific lyricist, and trendsetter, among other things when he was taken away from the world on March 9, 1997. Sixteen years later, the King of New York’s presence remains felt by many. On the same token, younger generations are too far removed from Biggie’s reign to understand why he was such a phenomenon.

If we can say that now, what will future generations think of the Brooklyn MC? As music culture evolves and the world becomes more stimulated by visuals, perhaps photos will be the only proper representation of B.I.G.. And that’s very likely long as Tumblr, Instagram and similar platforms are prevalent.

Hypothetically speaking, this would make it easy to have the wrong idea about B.I.G.’s persona. While he was absolutely menacing with the rhymes and known to sport a mean mug in flicks, those close to him say he was a genuinely lighthearted guy who loved to laugh and joke. With that said, it’s our duty to capture that aesthetic and communicate it in the way we know best – a list.

For his birthday (May 21), we commemorate the B.I.G.’s legacy with a few iconic shots of him cracking a smile. See those in the gallery below. Rest in power Notorious B.I.G.

Photo: YouTube

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