Fans rush to buy commemorative Biggie Smalls MetroCards – and sell them for thousands

·2 min read
New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Limited-edition MetroCards honoring late rapper Biggie Smalls began popping up on resell sites after being released at select New York City subway stations over the weekend.

On May 21, fans flooded four Brooklyn stations in hopes of getting the commemorative card on what would’ve been Biggie’s — also known as The Notorious B.I.G. — 50th birthday, multiple news outlets reported. Those lucky enough to get one — or a few — are now selling them for thousands of dollars online.

Sellers on eBay are seeking nearly $5,000 for the reloadable transit cards featuring a portrait of the rapper, who was born Christopher Wallace, on the back. One of the cheapest listings was $31 for a “brand-new, unused” card with $5.50 on it.

In celebration of his birthday, the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority loaded 50,000 Notorious B.I.G. MetroCards into vending machines at four train stations in central Brooklyn, where the rapper was raised, according to a news release. Fans could buy the cards “on a first come, first serve basis” starting at 12:01 a.m. on May 21.

Melissa Pajuelo, 30, of Brighton Beach bought five MetroCards, telling the New York Post they were worth wait.

“It was a long, hot two hours,” Pajuelo told the news outlet. “Two are for me. Another two are for my boyfriend, and the last one is for my homeboy. It’s Biggie Smalls. He’s an icon.”

Sonya Magett also braved an hours-long wait and said a line began forming outside Clinton-Washington Avenues C subway station before the cards released at midnight, according to PIX11.

“It was very emotional for me standing in the long line for over three hours but it was something I had to do — get a collector’s item from the very train around the corner where Biggie grew up on,” Magett told the news station.

The Notorious B.IG. grew up in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and went on to become one of hip-hop’s greatest rappers. During his career, he released two Grammy-nominated records and secured two No. 1 hits on the Billboard Top 100 chart in the late ‘90s.

His freshman album, “Ready to Die,” went multi-platinum and was followed by “Life After Death,” which is diamond certified, 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 killing is still unsolved.