Limited-edition MetroCards honoring the late rapper Biggie Smalls have started appearing on resale sites after being released at select New York City subway stations over the weekend.
On May 21, fans Brooklyn’s flooded subway stations in hopes of securing the commemorative card for what would have been Biggie’s – also known as Notorious BIG – 50th birthday, multiple outlets reported. Those lucky enough to get one – or a few – are now selling them for thousands of dollars online.
Sellers on eBay are looking for almost $5,000 for the reloadable travel cards, which feature a portrait of the rapper who was born Christopher Wallace, on the back. A die the cheapest listings were $31 for a “brand new, unused” card with $5.50 on it.
To celebrate its anniversary, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority commissioned 50,000 Notorious BIG subway maps in vending machines at five train stations in central Brooklyn, where the rapper was raised, according to a press release. Fans could purchase the cards “on a first-come, first-served basis” from 12:01 a.m. on May 21.
Melissa Pajuelo, 30, from Brighton Beach bought five MetroCards, telling the New York Post they were worth the wait.
“It was two long, hot hours,” Pajuelo told the outlet. “Two are for me. Two more are for my boyfriend, and one is for my homeboy. It’s Biggie Smalls. He’s an icon.
Sonya Magett too braved a wait of several hours and said a line began to form outside the Clinton-Washington Avenues C subway station before the maps were released at midnight, according to PIX11.
“It was very emotional for me to stand in the long queue for over three hours, but it was something I had to do – get a collectible on the train around the corner where Biggie got grown,” Magett told the news channel.
Notorious B.IG. grew up in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood and became one of hip-hop’s biggest rappers. During his career, he released two Grammy-nominated records and achieved two No. 1 hits on the Top 100 Billboards chart in the late 90s.
Her freshman album, “Ready to Die,” went multi-platinum and was followed by “Life After Death,” which is certified diamond, according to the MTA.
“Life after death” landed on the Billboard 200 chart weeks after he was shot and killed in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997 – when he was 24 – the New York Daily News reported. His murder is still unsolved.
This story was originally published May 23, 2022 5:49 p.m.