The Notorious BIG, 25 years after his death, will be resurrected as a “true-to-life, hyper-realistic” avatar in a virtual reality concert coming exclusively to MetaVR and Facebook platforms.
Produced in collaboration with the Notorious BIG Estate, the concert will feature Biggie’s avatar performing classics from his catalog and the core fans of a VR experience in Meta Horizon Worlds in a virtual recreation of 90s Brooklyn called “The Brook”. The Notorious BIG, real name Christopher Wallace, was murdered in 1997 at the age of 24.
Meta’s VR concert is billed as a celebration of Biggie’s 50th birthday. “The Notorious BIG Sky’s The Limit: A VR Concert Experience” will premiere on December 16 exclusively in the Venues section of Meta Horizon Worlds (and in Meta Quest TV) accessible with a Meta Quest 2 or Meta Quest Pro virtual reality headset . The VR event page is at this link. If you don’t have a Quest VR device, you can watch the 2D version of the concert on the Notorious BIG Official Facebook Page.
Voletta Wallace, Biggie’s mother, said in a statement: “Having the opportunity to create a new opportunity to showcase my son Christopher’s music through advances in technology is sometimes difficult for me to grasp. However, I have found so much excitement in the process of developing his avatar, understanding the added value for fans to experience him in a way that was unattainable until now. Thank you to everyone who helped make this project possible.
In the VR experience, audiences will follow a day in the life of Biggie through a narrative journey written and voiced by writer and music journalist Touré. The concert will also feature guest performances from Sean “Diddy” Combs, The Lox, Latto, Nardo Wick and Lil’ Cease, as well as a special set from DJ Clark Kent.
Mark Pitts, Biggie Manager and President of RCA Records, said, “It’s been amazing to create new content for BIG. The world was robbed of an opportunity to see Biggie grow and evolve as an artist. The wonder of Web3 is that it gives us the opportunity to celebrate his music with visuals that Biggie never could.
For Meta, it’s the internet giant’s latest investment in VR entertainment to try to realize CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the “metaverse” as the supposed successor to today’s social networks. Other recent Meta-funded projects have included “The Haunted House of Eli Roth: Trick-VR-Treat”, with Vanessa Hudgens, and one VR experience in Horizon Worlds based on “Nope” by Jordan Peele.
The concert is produced by Gunpowder & Sky, whose CEO Van Toffler formed the production company after nearly three decades at MTV. Elliot Osagie, founder of Willingie, led the technological development of Biggie’s avatar with VFX director Remington Scott, CEO of Hyperreal. They have also received support from WME, which represents the Notorious BIG Estate, for the project.
“Biggie’s music has been streamed over 11 billion times worldwide and 6.5 billion in the United States alone, but due to his untimely death, there simply wasn’t enough content to meet his needs. the overwhelming demand for his music,” Osagie said. “That’s why I came up with the idea and made the decision to create a digital avatar.”
Toffler commented, “Biggie’s untimely death, similar to Kurt Cobain and Tupac, was a defining moment in my previous MTV gig. So having the opportunity to be a part of its rebirth in the virtual world – combining the latest avatar and motion capture technology with the best music and storytelling – is a dream come true. Biggie’s impact on music and culture will never have an expiration date.
Watch Meta’s Notorious BIG VR concert teaser: