Notorious B.I.G.’s Original DJ 50 Grand Passes Away at 55

Notorious B.I.G.

Notorious B.I.G’s original DJ 50 Grand has passed away. Read about how the legendary rapper was discovered in his Bed-Stuy neighborhood.

According to several reports, Kevin “50 Grand” Griffin, the original DJ and producer who gave the Notorious B. I. G.’s demo tape to DJ Mister Cee, has reportedly died. 

He was 55 years old.

Griffin’s cause of death has not been confirmed or reported.

50 Grand was the visionary and catalyst of the “King of N.Y.’s” rap career when they first connected in 1991 in their native Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn neighborhood.

“I started working with Big in ’91,” said 50 Grand in an interview with Fader Magazine. “I was 21, he was 15. I met him through a friend of mine. They hustled together on Bedford and Quincy. People in the neighborhood knew him as the hottest rapper around.

“Everybody that stepped in his path, he ate ’em up. He earned that stripe from that one battle he had on Bedford and Quincy. I was the one that was playing the music,” 50 Grand continued. “This man used to live right upstairs from the pool room. Every day in the summer, we’d play the music out. It just so happened that Big came around, so we brought the grill out, we brought the music out. They got on the mic and went at it. It went on from there. Cars stopped. It got real crowded out there. We rocked it ’til 12, one o’clock that night. It was a good look. Everybody that came at his back, he took out.”

Griffin eventually got the tape to DJ Mister Cee, Big Daddy Kane’s DJ at the time. 

With Biggie Smalls showing extraordinary promise rhyming over Kane’s “Ain’t No Half Steppin” instrumental, Cee passed the demo tape to Matteo “Matty C” Capoluongo of The Source Magazine for the Unsigned Hype feature column.

Not long after appearing in The Source, news of the super emcee from Brooklyn made its way to Sean Puffy Combs.

For having that level of foresight, even in the drug-ridden street of 90s Bed-Stuy, 50 Grand’s name will forever be written in stone in Hip-Hop history.