The Big man with the even bigger heart. Friday (May 21) would have been Notorious B.I.G.'s 38th birthday.
Lil' Cease sat back and thought about fond memories of his late friend, especially birthday memories. There was a time when Cease lost a birthday present that Faith Evans had bought her husband.
"I lost a ring she bought Big," Cease said with a big grin. "It was about $15,000."
Cease would sometimes wear Biggie's jewelry onstage while they were performing. During a section in the show where they performed "Gimme the Loot," Cease would throw wads of cash into the crowd. During one show in Texas, Cease was wearing Big's gift and threw the ring in the crowd along with the money. The youngest member of the Junior M.A.F.I.A. didn't realize until they were backstage after the show.
"He's like, 'A'ight, where that ring at, playboy?' " Cease thought back. "I'm looking on my finger, in my pockets. ... He was like, 'That ring is gone.' "
Cease said Big wasn't angry, he just told him he had to deal with Faith.
Cease also laughed when he looked at a picture of Biggie blowing out birthday candles with Puff Daddy at a party, circa 1995.
"That's Puff Daddy. I can't remember his name, but the guy in the middle, that's Stevie J's brother," the Brooklyn native said, looking at the photo that was shot by Ronnie Wright. "We was in the park during a Total video shoot. We was just sitting there, 3 o'clock in the afternoon, drinking Cristal on the grass in Long Island, having fun. Fly. That was just the start of the day."
Laughter ensued when Cease thought about when Biggie turned 21.
"At that time, we was still getting on with the record deal. It wasn't that much of a celebration. Just more some family and friends sitting around having a good time. Real basic stuff. A little party. Riding around listening to music. We knew what was about to happen. Puff was working with him. Diddy threw a nice gathering for us. It was just the basics. Big had that Land Cruiser. We would drive around, get that smoke for the first part of the day. Then we was in the lab, in Daddy's House [Diddy's studio]. Daddy's House had just got up and running."
When asked how Big would be celebrating today, Cease said more of the same.
"Today, he'd probably just be with the family," Cease said. "We had our experience on the road: performing, doing shows, big parties. He definitely would have had a big party. A celebrity affair. But he also would have done something private with the M.A.F.I.A., close friends, wife. He kept it together with everybody he dealt with, and I'm sure they would have all came out and shown their love for Big and kept everything else under the carpet, whatever it was. Big had that type of heart, that everyone would wanna come out and show their love and spend that day with him."
How do you think Biggie would have celebrated his 38th birthday? Let us know in the comments.