Rapper The Notorious B.I.G. is shown on stage at the 1996 Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles in this file photograph. The rap star was shot to death in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles March 9, 1997. His Influence lives on 20 years after he was murdered, leaving many to call him the rapper greatest of all time, also known as the GOAT. REUTERS

Legendary rapper the Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down in Los Angeles 20 years ago on Thursday at the age of 25. While the Brooklyn-bred lyricist only recorded two solo albums during his brief life, the music from the lyricist also known as Biggie Smalls (born Christopher Wallace) left a lasting influence well after his murder to the point that many have called him the greatest of all time, or the GOAT.

One of the most apparent influences Biggie had was on his friend, rapper Jay Z, who has made no secret about his admiration for his fellow Brooklynite. The two only collaborated on a small handful of songs in the 1990s during an era called the golden age of hip-hop, but Jay Z has continued to shout out Biggie any chance he gets, including and especially in concerts and on dozens of his songs.

Read: Tupac's Legacy Still Strong 20 Years Later

Jay Z said the last time he spoke with Biggie was the fateful night the rapper was shot to death after leaving the Soul Train Awards ceremony. He opened up about how much Biggie meant to him during a radio interview in 2013.

"I take him everywhere I go," Jay Z told Power 106 at the time. "I've taken him on every step, every accomplishment. He'll be there in some sort of way, whether that be live in concert or on record, or some acknowledgement."

Puff Daddy, who owns Bad Boy Entertainment, the record label to which Biggie was signed, has also kept the rapper's name alive throughout the years by way of various ventures, including releasing multiple posthumous albums and producing a Hollywood biopic simply called "Notorious."

Puff Daddy, born Sean Combs but also known by a plethora of nicknames including Diddy and Puffy, was set to release another movie -- "Can't Stop, Won't Stop: The Bad Boy Story" -- at this year's Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary chronicles the record imprint's success, which started with Biggie, the label's first signee.

Biggie's influence was not contained to just the U.S., as shown by the rapper's fashion label "Hypnotize" -- named after the rapper's chart-topping hit -- reportedly planning to open a pop-up store in London on Friday.

But the tribute that would have perhaps made Biggie the proudest was scheduled to take place in his hometown of Brooklyn, where the NBA's franchise Brooklyn Nets were set to honor the rapper during its game against the New York Knicks on Sunday. While Biggie wasn't alive to witness the Nets relocate from New Jersey to his borough, the rapper did reference the Knicks and one of its players in a now-legendary song that gave birth to conspiracy theories about who he was talking about.

Read: 18 Notorious B.I.G. Quotes And Lyrics

The Notorious B.I.G.'s murder has never been solved. The FBI released information about its case investigating the murder back in 2011 that shed little light on who shot him. A few years later, a retired Los Angeles Police Department detective who was interviewing officers for a book he planned to write about the murder was found dead.

Hip-hop impresario "Suge" Marion Knight was suspected to have involvement in the murder, as he and his Los Angeles-based Death Row Records and its stable of rappers were in a heated rivalry -- dubbed the east coast-west coast beef -- with Bad Boy at the time of Biggie's death. Death Row rapper Tupac "2Pac" Shakur, a legend in his own right, had been killed in a similar drive-by shooting in Las Vegas nearly six months earlier and many suspected Biggie was killed out of revenge. 2 Pac's murder has never been solved, either.

Knight has since been incarcerated and was awaiting trial for unrelated murder charges in Los Angeles.