On Sept. 13, 1994, The Notorious B.I.G. released his magnum opus, Ready to Die, which garnered acclaim from both critics and fans alike. The revered album featured Biggie’s unbridled bravado over grimacing songs like "Gimme the Loot," and his softer side on radio-friendly tunes like "One More Chance." Twenty-five years later, Biggie's songs and musical legacy are celebrated through an art project courtesy of Optimo Cigars.

Optimo received over 170 entries from around the world for their Biggie Inspires art contest. Among the winners was Dayton, Ohio artist Cinque Smith. His vibrant artwork, which was inspired by Biggie's lyrical storytelling through music, features an image of the late Brooklyn rhymer awash in multiple colors. Smith's illustration is a combination of different techniques with a strong emphasis on the human condition through color texture and symbolism. Smith's artwork was converted into a mural and displayed for the public in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn in September of 2019.

Another Biggie Inspires mural was also unveiled in B.I.G.'s Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford–Stuyvesant. Contest winner Hoa Hong designed the Biggie artwork, which she said was inspired by Biggie's music and documentaries about the late rapper. An additional mural was presented in Atlanta by artist Brian "JEKS" Lewis.

Optimo Cigars also held a Biggie Inspires exhibit party in celebration of B.I.G., and the artists who contributed to the contest. At the event, held at Brooklyn's William Vale Hotel, several Biggie portraits from the contest were on display for attendees. It was a night where everyone spread love—the Brooklyn way.

Watch the unveiling of Cinque Smith's Biggie Inspires mural curated by Optimo Cigars below.

This editorial advertisement is presented by Optimo Cigars.

See Photos of The Notorious B.I.G. Over the Years

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