August 11th marks 50 years since the momentous occasion when Kool Herc first took to the turntables to lay the first bricks in the foundations of Hip Hop. To celebrate this historic moment in music history, Pepsi has partnered with The Notorious B.I.G. Estate to announce an international campaign that amplifies the legacy of one of the genre’s most iconic artists.
From its roots in New York in the 1970s, the Hip Hop movement sparked the emergence of art forms such as beatboxing, rapping, DJing, breakdancing, and street art, just to name a few. These artistic expressions formed the basis of the modern Hip Hop genre and ultimately changed the trajectory of global music and popular culture.
Pepsi has been working closely with Biggie’s Estate to put together a campaign that honours both Biggie’s legacy and the enduring cultural impact of Hip Hop: from influencing new modern genres including K-Pop and Afrobeats, to inspiring new variations of Rap across different corners of the globe. The new collaboration builds on Pepsi’s long and storied history of working with some of the biggest musicians of all time across a number of these genres.
The iconic rapper, also known by his stage name, ‘The Notorious B.I.G.’, inspired a whole generation of artists in Hip Hop and beyond. Widely considered one of the greatest rappers of all time and most influential of the 1990s rap era, Biggie’s music still feels as fresh and current as it did back then, and his impact on music and broader culture continues today.
This isn’t Pepsi's first time working with The Notorious B.I.G. Estate. When the rapper was posthumously inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020, Pepsi unearthed a vintage freestyle that Biggie recorded at D&D Studios with DJ Enuff between late 1996 and early 1997. Recorded specifically for Pepsi, it was his own little ode to his drink of choice. "Nothing can beat the P-E-P-S-I, yes, I drink it constantly,” he raps. “Something ’bout the taste feels great, less filling / Tell ’em Biggie said drink it all, don’t test me / Nothing else beats a Pepsi / If it is, let’s see / I’m thirsty”.
Speaking on the announcement, Ms. Voletta Wallace, who is also the founder of the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation, shared: “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip hop and its cultural impact on our world, we’re excited to honour Christopher’s legacy and continue bringing his music to a new generation of fans. While his art is timeless, we’ve been working with Pepsi to commemorate my son’s artistry and connect his music with the sounds and artists of today. We hope fans will enjoy it as much as we do.”
“In this pivotal year of music, hip hop cannot be discussed without my dad,” added CJ Wallace, who is also the founder of Frank White, a lifestyle brand and creative studio. “My dad is synonymous with rap, and his influence is unmatched. Taking one of his most well-kept secret flows out of the vault and working directly with Pepsi, the brand he cites, is pretty dope.
This collaboration is just getting started! Pepsi will be bringing a distinct and excitingly immersive campaign that will connect Biggie's unique personality, style, and lyrical flow with the sounds of today. This includes bringing Biggie’s music to life across disruptive virtual and physical experiences, celebrating him with street art across major cities worldwide and creating limited edition Pepsi cans, all paying tribute to and elevating his immeasurable influence on popular culture. Watch this space!
You can listen to Biggie’s Pepsi Freestyle for yourself HERE.