Notorious B.I.G. Goes To the Metaverse, Prompting Interest in Digitally-Enhanced Legacies
The Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was murdered in 1997 at the age of 24 and is coming back to life as a “hyperrealistic” avatar in recognition of the 25th anniversary of his death. Journalist and writer Touré, who will narrate the special, worked with the rapper’s estate throughout production.
Debuting on December 16, the event is being developed alongside the estate of the rap legend and will feature Biggie performing his classics as a “true-to-life, hyperrealistic” avatar. Fans will also be brought along a “narrative journey” of a virtually-recreated ’90s Brooklyn in The Brook on Meta Horizon Worlds, with writer and music journalist Touré performing as the speaking voice of the rapper. In addition, Diddy, The LOX, Latto, Nardo Wick, Lil’ Cease and DJ Clark Kent will all be performing with the avatar of The Notorious B.I.G, according to the Official Site and Hypebeast.
“Having the ability to create a variance of new opportunity to showcase my son Christopher’s music through the advancement of technology is hard for me to grasp at times,” Voletta Wallace, the mother of the late rapper, said in a statement. “However, I’ve found so much excitement in the process of developing his avatar, understanding the value added for fans to experience him in ways unattainable until now. Thank you to all who have contributed to bringing this project to fruition,” as published in Hypebeast.
Some key features of the concert will be to allow users to interact with each other in various worlds that host events, social activities, and games, according to the platform.
Above shows a side by side of The Brook’s recreation and below a trailer for The Brook, all of which has been reconstructed through existing ephemera and archival material.
All of this is prompting cultural leaders, creators, artists, and those entrusted with iconic cultural assets to think deeply about what digitally-enhanced legacies start to look like and the burgeoning business of iconic culture.
Watch the full trailer above. The Notorious B.I.G. Sky’s the Limit: A VR Concert Experience premieres December 16.