Kevin “DJ 50 Grand” Griffin, the DJ who helped The Notorious B.I.G. record the demo that famously landed the aspiring rapper in the Unsigned Hype column The SOURCE, has died. Griffin's death was confirmed by Junior M.A.F.I.A. member and Biggie affiliate Lil’ Cease.
"This One Hurt Man 😢!!" Cease wrote on Instagram. "We Was Literally Was Just Celebrating Wit You For Big Smh!! Wouldn’t Be No Big If It Wasn’t For You!! We Love You 50 Grand & Your Gonna Be Missed!!"
It was 50 Grand who got B.I.G. recorded and drew the attention that was the catalyst for Sean "Puffy" Combs to sign Biggie Smalls to Combs' Bad Boy Records label in 1993. The DJ had become famous in Brooklyn as a member of the Lafayette Gardens crew The Old Gold Brothers, and he teamed with The Notorious B.I.G. after being introduced by close friend Damion “D-Roc” Butler. 50 Grand and Biggie Smalls would recorded the famed demo that included songs like "Guaranteed Raw" and "Microphone Murderer." 50 Grand would give the tape to Big Daddy Kane's DJ Mister Cee, and the rest is history.
In the review of Biggie’s demo (credited to The Notorious B-I-G & The Hitman 50 Grand) Matty C writes: “If you’re an aspiring rapper and you know you have the flavor and potential to make dope records, you don’t need to go into the studio and spend crazy cash to make a fly demo. You don’t even need a 4-track; just two turntables and a microphone, press record on the tape deck and you’re good to go.”