Illustrations: Michael Kennedy

The Legend Of The Biggie Belt

Twenty-three years ago, The Notorious B.I.G. left his 52-inch belt at ‘The Source’ magazine weeks before he died. Nine Keepers of the Belt kept it safe and secret. Why was this accessory so important?

Aliya S. King
Published in
19 min readMar 9, 2020


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II feel silly telling this story. I mean, it’s just a belt. But it matters to me.

The story begins in 1997 at The Source magazine.

And it starts with Rigo “Riggs” Morales.

Last week, Riggs was named senior VP, A&R and artist development at Atlantic Records. Over the past 20 years, Riggs has signed and guided dozens of platinum-selling acts, from Eminem to Wiz Khalifa and Janelle Monae.

He is an accomplished executive, respected by his peers and musicians. But 23 years ago, he was a writer and editor at The Source magazine. And he was over it.

Rigo “Riggs” Morales

After a few years at the red-hot center of hip-hop journalism, he felt like he wasn’t getting…



Aliya S. King

Aliya S. King is an author, freelance writer and editor.