pics: Biggie tribute in Prospect Park with Busta Rhymes, Lil’ Kim & The LOX
Budweiser presented a free Biggie Smalls tribute night at the Prospect Park Bandshell on Thursday night (8/19), part of the shortened 2021 BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival season of free shows. RSVP was required but didn't guarantee entry, and lines to get in were still giant well after doors opened. Proof of vaccination or a negative test was required. Everybody got a free special Budweiser tall boy with a picture of Biggie on it. The same branding was plastered around the venue, and lots of people dressed up for the occasion in Biggie shirts and crowns.
DJ Stretch Armstrong -- who, as he told the crowd, famously hosted an 18 year old Biggie on his Stretch & Bobbito radio show -- warmed things up and gave more people time to get in before the The LOX took the stage. As radio host Angie Martinez implied while introducing them, the Yonkers trio of Sheek Louch, Styles P and Jadakiss was an especially special booking so soon after The LOX crushed Dispet in the much-talked-about VERZUZ battle at MSG on August 3. And The LOX crushed again, for about 25 minutes. Highlights included Jadakiss performing his beloved freestyle over Biggie’s ‘Who Shot Ya’ (like he did at VERZUZ), as well as some of The LOX’s real-time Biggie collabs, like “Last Day” and “It’s All About the Benjamins.” The moment that may have caused the loudest reaction all night came during the latter song, when Lil Kim joined them for her verse and then stuck around to help The LOX close out their set with “Money, Power, Respect,” their hit 1998 single that she sings the chorus on (DMX also appears on the record).
Kim stayed on stage for her own set with her old group Junior M.A.F.I.A. who Biggie formed and mentored. The crowd sang along to hits like "Get Money" and "Crush on You," and went nuts when Kim did her famous "Quiet Storm" dance. Biggie's official road DJ, DJ Enuff, who thanked Biggie for still paying his bills in 2021, kept things chill with his set until the night's headliner Busta Rhymes took the stage with his amazing hype man Spliff Star for a 30 minute set full of Busta's signature fast raps to close the night.
Kool Keith replaces Junglepussy as headliner of the free Friday night show at the same venue.
More photos from 'Celebrate Biggie' -- by Edwina Hay -- below...