Brooklyn now has a street named after the Notorious B.I.G.
A street in Brooklyn has been renamed in honour of the Notorious B.I.G., the late rapper who grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood.
The Notorious B.I.G. (real name Christopher Wallace) was one of music’s most compelling figures and widely lauded as one of hip-hop’s most influential artists. Now the street where he grew up in Brooklyn has been renamed in his honour. The initiative was led by artist and longtime Brooklyn resident LeRoy McCarthy and Wallace’s mother Voletta Wallace, who saw their wish realised on Monday after a years-long campaign that faced numerous rejections.
Officials initially rejected the street-naming initiative because they believed the rapper was a bad role model due to the nature of his lyrics. Still, campaign advocates persisted and launched a succession of petitions that garnered global support. Last November the campaign was eventually approved by the Brooklyn Community Board and New York City mayor Bill De Blasio.
Now the area of St James Place between Gates Avenue and Fulton Street in Bed Stuy has been officially renamed as Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace Way in a civic ceremony on Monday attended by McCarthy, Wallace’s family and fans and local politicians, including New York City Council member Laurie Cumbo. Activists say the street-naming campaign is a tribute to the rapper who helped put Brooklyn on the map as a place where creativity thrives long before gentrification swept in to the rapidly-changing neighbourhood.
“When new people come to our community, don’t get it twisted and don’t forget, we made this borough what it is today. We created this borough and Biggie Smalls created the soundtrack of inspiration,” said Cumbo.
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