Baby From Notorious B.I.G.'s "Ready To Die" Album Cover Identified

After 17 years, the New York Daily News finally tracks down Keithroy Yearwood, the afroed, diaper-wearing toddler from Notorious B.I.G.'s classic album cover.

For over a decade, Keithroy Yearwood has been the unknown subject of Hip Hop trivia. People always wondered who the infant on the cover of Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready To Die album cover was, and the New York Daily News tracked down the now 18-year-old Yearwood to get the back-story on how he ended up as a part of Hip Hop lore.

“When I first found out about it, it wasn’t a big deal to me,” Yearwood told the Daily News. “Now, of course, it’s a big deal to me,”

During the initial years after the album was released, many speculated that the infant on the cover was indeed the Notorious B.I.G. But both B.I.G. himself and Sean Combs shot down those rumors. Later, Combs would reveal to RapRadar.com that the baby on the cover did indeed come from a casting agency. Ready To Die went on to sell 3.3 million copies, and Yearwood even became the subject of other emcees rhymes who referenced Biggie’s debut. The album cover sparked a small feud between Notorious B.I.G., Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, who initially felt Ready To Die copied the artwork from Nas’ Illmatic.

Nas—whose debut also featured artwork of him as an infant—addressed the issue on the song “Last Real Nigga Alive” saying the following:

“B.I.G. was ahead of his time / Him and Raekwon my niggas / But dig it / They couldn’t get along / That’s when Ghostface set it on the purple tape / Bad Boy biting Nas album cover wait / B.I.G. told me Rae was stealing my slang / And Rae told me out in Shaolin B.I.G. would do the same thing / But I borrowed from both them niggas…”

The 1997 murder of Notorious B.I.G. put the issue to rest, as Rae and Ghost have been included with Biggie on posthumous projects. And for his part, Yearwood, who only made $150 from his toddler modeling job only wants one thing.

“I just want people to know that’s me,” Yearwood added. “The truth is finally coming out.”

65 Comments

  • Richard

    He can't be 18 now if Ready to Die came on in 1994. He has to be older than 20.

  • BIG

    When i die FUCK IT i wanna go to hell Cause im a piece a shit it aint hard to fucking tell "Sucidal thoughts went hard as fucccck.

  • KelzCT

    of course it wasn't a big deal then. what a stupid statement to make with your one chance to say something.

  • Sami Kassar

    Dopeee I wish it was me lol follow me on twitter-- @YaBoySami

  • BlazeDatIshUp

    I believe I thought the infant was Biggie himself back then, but honestly I never really cared one way or another, and still don't... I guarantee I won't remember this guy by tomorrow though, and I probably shouldn't have clicked on this link because I'd rather not know who these kids or people are on these album covers, just keeps it a mystery...

  • sean

    he's just trying to get famous off that shit so he can get laid.... I actually liked it better not knowing who the baby was

  • Nike Champ 718

    LOL @ the dude only making $150 from an album that ended up going triple platinum.

    • u a hater

      how much did u expect a baby to get paid to have there picture on a cd cover in 1994? i would have took $50 just to be part of history like that, hater

  • finally

    FINALLY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS OF WONDERING WHO THAT BABY WAS! NOW I CAN SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT, THE ALBUM JUST GOT THAT MUCH BETTER BECAUSE I KNOW THIS NOBODIES NAME! - ED LOVER VOICE - "CMON SON GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE WITH THAT BULLSHIT!"

  • Moses

    Niggaz Bleed Just Like Us Jews! Except you've never earned it.

  • jesterdxxl

    wolfman you is a funny motherfucker 'My baby picture was on a milk carton'

  • me

    and now i can die in peace

  • Dan Ruben Nilsen Lindseth

    why dont they try finding the people that killed biggie and 2-pac, insed of this bullshit

    • cause

      cause we all already know who did that, the gov't, anyone who has tried to find out got shut down or paid to keep ther mouth shut

    • Big Log

      You know what man you are 100% right on saying that, if they spend that much time trying to find who killed big and pac, they just might find out who real did it.

  • Camaro

    Uh oh, watch this dude try to submit a joint to HHDX now.

  • BEATS RHYMEZ LIFE

    www.beatsrhymezlife.com Constantly Keeping You Updated On All Things Fresh www.beatsrhymezlife.com

  • anignigg

    what do u no he looks lke any other nigga

  • Bryant Carter

    Musician yes guitar player yes. Just moved back to Hollywood California. Material is done for an album just about, but I am also offering my guitar servies for studio session work, gigs for people needing a guitar player, touring, or even joining or starting a band. Don't ou know how many artists are going with the live band sound these days? I'm still all about the dj's and producers making beats but lets put some live guitar over that stuff rather it be in the studio or live on stage. Here is the link to my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bryantc1000&aq=f here you will see things like soul from a guitar player, and a tribute to people like 2 pac, jimi hendrix, and yes even Michael Jackson. Check it out let me know if your interested. My email is leaving.carter@gmail.com Thank you, Bryant C

  • wolfman

    My baby picture was on a milk carton.

  • EddieMurrrphy

    i wonder if this cat still smells like a bag of buttcheeks.

  • EddieMurrrphy

    'my favorites were big poppa and juicy' that is a clown opinion, sorry. those were arguably the two weakest cuts on the album. the diddy branded and conceptualized tracks, made to sell records. which it did (see voletta wallace and sean combs pockets now-executive producing a biggie post humous album, hah! dont spend his money on that crap). imagine how different things would be if machine gun funk were the first single like he wanted it to be. he woulda been more like an o.c. type of rapper...

    • Enlightened

      Sorry. That's not a "clown opinion", it's an opinion Those songs made the album sell because the majority of the country wasn't feeling those grimy New York "Gimme The Loot" type beats. That shit was horrible to most niggas. That's why Illmatic didn't even go gold when it first came out. Why do you think "The Chronic" and "Doggystyle" sold so much in comparison? G-funk was musical. That dusty ass boom-bap shit was only for certain ears. I could appreciate it, but I see why most people can't. Most people like BASS LINES, strings, horns, you know...actual instruments. You can have your opinion just like he can. Musically, those two songs stand out.

    • Anonymous

      Everyday Struggle was def my fav cut off the album.

    • jack johnson

      lol whats worse was his reasons for liking them, "i just like the chorus" and "i just like it coz it was catchy" i wonder if they guy even listened the album in full length or just named the only two songs he really knew

    • Almar

      "Gimme The Loot", "Machine Gun Funk" and "The What" are my favorite tracks, and of course big poppa. That Kid is a Part of hip-hop hop history. Good Shit.

  • Bryant Carter

    THATS WILD HAHA

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  • capiche

    i always hoped that the kid on the ready to die cover would grow up to be like a lupe fiasco or a big krit or something like that

  • Jscot

    Why everybody trippin on the kid gettin royalties? He was baby model for a hip-hop album cover. Nobody knew that Ready To Die would be the album that we recognize it for today. $150 ain't that bad. Diddy probably didn't set the price.

  • TruthBeTold

    Good to know that little baby turned out to be a fucking retarded nigga. This dude seems to be a biiiiiiiiittttt slooooowwwwwwerrrrr thaaaaaannnnn othhhhheeerrrrsssss........ Definitely in remedial and special-ed classes. A few neurons MUST be missing from this boy's brain.

  • HRH

    Last Real Nigga Alive is one of the hottest piece's these years. Out since '01 but only got to it last year. Nas is word for word a brilliant scientist.

  • jesterdxxl

    The dude is a legend in his own right I hope someone throws him some cash we know Diddy gfot it but don't like to depart from it.

  • hunkE

    Slim Thug feat. Kanye West & Bun B - In The Streets [ http://soundcloud.com/hunke/slim-thug-feat-kanye-west-bun ]

  • Anonymous

    $150 to be on one of the most well known and recognized hip hop covers of all time seems like a joke to me, i guess thats how diddy got so rich

    • Brizz

      150 bucks seems like a real fair deal to me when your only skills ís to sit around and shit yourself.

    • Johny

      The dude got paid for a modeling gig. It don't matter how many records is sold. $150 whether it sells 3 mill or just 3. Did the baby from Nirvana's Nevermind album cover get rich? That album sold 10 mill in the US and 26 mill worldwide. Models get paid for the gig. Not for how well known the product they're selling gets. You think Marky Mark is still getting Calvin Klein underwear money?

  • The MG

    That's pretty cool. I always thought it was either Biggie as an infant or his child on the cover. Like someone said below, Yearwood should be getting royalties for that cover. I hope he did, but if not, then Diddy better be expecting company real soon.

    • ilexx

      Sometimes models get paid based on how the picture is used such as billboards, posters etc. This goes to show that it is just a matter of contract. If they negotiated a deal to get royalties based on every copy of the picture used for an album cover then he would be NICE. I feel like $150 is a MAJOR rip off for an album cover with your picture, in this case it was his parents who signed off on this so..... they got ripped off slightly. I am sure Puffy set the price on that bitch lol

    • abra

      That's not how modeling works. You get paid per gig not for how well the product sells. Do Calvin Klein models get royalties for underwear sales? Whether the product sells a lot or a little the model gets paid for the gig itself and that's it.

  • Anonymous

    brilliant news!!!!!

  • da1

    I thought that baby was Big as a baby, it's kinda disappointing to hear that it was someone else. Well, it's still a great cover and it is what it is.

  • Shuttaman

    Man I always thought that was Biggie's kid. Shit I think Game put his kid on a Documentary cover art cuz he thought B.i.G. did the same lol o well

  • Anonymous

    dude should have gotten a shitload of royalties of that, sue that rich asshole diddy and you might get a check boi

  • Anonymous

    DAMN DIDDY $150 THATS IT,BUT YET SCREAMING I GOT MONEY COMING OUT THE ANUS, OR THAT ONE LINE I DONT WRITE RHYMES I WRITE CHECKS COME ON MAN BUT THEN AGAIN THATS DIDDY

  • Anonymous

    again some real great journalism from hiphopdx. This is totally not important! But again thanks!!!

    • The One

      Thanks for the support. I'm glad that someone appreciates my services.

    • EddieMurrrphy

      thanks homie, i gotcha back from now on. anyone that rapes to help is a good Samaritan in my opinion. keep fucking butts for justice my dude!

    • The One

      I'm down for some butt raping just send them my way and I'll make sure they behave themselves from now on. With great power comes great responsibility, so I'll gladly get rid of those butts for you so that I can use my gift to help others

    • EddieMurrrphy

      The One is in top form right now. he's gunning at you turds. he aint gonna be slowing down the raping posts for a while. yo, homie, i got about twenty five pairs of butt cheeks to get rid of, i could probably hook you up 3 for 2 or 5 for 3. whatchu want dawggy?

    • The One

      @theone2 Listen here bitch I rape fools like you to keep this country safe and have a safe environment for my wife and son so you're the cock sucker and your ass-pussy will feel my wrath evil doer

    • Ice Cube

      Check yourself before you wreck yourself

    • LordLamickTheEmperor

      Just an asshole. This isn't the most important story, but i like it. It's totally hip-hop related, an interest to alot of people, and part of history. I'd rather read stories like this than alot of stories that pop up on rap sites, not just HHDX. Such as Gucci Mane and Young LA's equally stupid facial tattoos, or a way over publicized poster on Lil John's rise and fall.

    • so

      the staff of hiphopdx be the ones talking shit...it has to be cause you are lashing out and being sensitive to what this guy said about this being not important. You should be grateful that people come on your site to check out hiphop instead of bashing the ones who support you and come here for news. Looks like YOU cant take a lil criticism or take an opinion that is not bigging you up.

    • theone2

      ur fucking gay bitch get a life u fucking dick sucker dnt commet u stupid bitch

    • Anonymous

      what a fkn a werido

    • The One

      Hey bitch if you didn't care then why comment I'll come over there and spank your butt and engage in anal sex with you bitch

    • but

      but u still read it and left a comment

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