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Legal Settlement Reached Over Commercial Use of Iconic Biggie Smalls’ World Trade Center Photos



Some of the most iconic photos in hip-hop history feature Biggie Smalls with the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers as a backdrop, captured by photographer Chi Modu in 1996. These images, inspired by Biggie’s lyrics in “Juicy,” became integral to the rapper’s legacy. However, a 2019 lawsuit from Biggie’s estate alleged that Modu illegally licensed the photos for commercial use without respecting the estate’s rights. With Modu’s passing in 2021, the legal battle continued between estates.

According to Billboard, a settlement was announced on Thursday (January 18) by Staci Jennifer Trager, the legal representative for Biggie’s estate in this case. While details of the settlement remain undisclosed, Trager explained that an agreement was reached between Biggie’s children and Modu’s widow. The settlement emphasizes that images of Christopher cannot be commercially exploited without a license from Biggie’s estate.

This resolution implies that Modu’s estate retains the right to sell physical and digital prints of the iconic photos but cannot use the images for other products. The settlement reflects the dedication of Biggie’s estate and its legal team over several years.

These images join a collection of “legacy items” cherished by the hip-hop community, honoring the influential and impactful late legend. Notably, last year, autographed arrest fingerprints of Biggie and Tupac Shakur were put up for sale for $225,000.

While ongoing developments in the murder case of the West Coast icon, Tupac Shakur, suggest a connection to Biggie’s death, this legal settlement underscores the commitment to preserving Biggie’s legacy in a respectful manner, guided by his estate’s directives. For more news and the latest updates on Biggie Smalls, stay tuned.

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