Brooklyn, NY – A block in Brooklyn where The Notorious B.I.G. spent his formative years is being named in his honor. Rolling Stone reports the stretch of St. James Place between Gates Avenue and Fulton Street will now be called Christopher Wallace Way.
Last Wednesday (May 15), the Brooklyn Community Board 2 voted to approve the re-naming petition 33 to one, with four abstentions. The dedication is expected to be approved by the City Council and Mayor Bill De Blasio soon.
“Honoring Biggie symbolizes more than just one man,” initiative leader LeRoy McCarthy said. “It symbolizes a culture. It symbolizes a borough. It symbolizes a people, and Hip Hop is worldwide.”
In a video clip of the Community Board 2 hearing, Juliet Cullen-Cheung — Transportation and Public Safety Committee Board Chair — said the effort to dedicate Christopher Wallace Way has received support from Council Member Laurie Cumbo and New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, despite pushback from those who take issue with the profanity and misogyny in Biggie’s lyrics.
To that, Cullen-Cheung said, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is a champion of feminist rights, is happy with her moniker, Notorious RBG.”
The initiative got off the ground several years ago but was initially shut down.
“[The Notorious B.I.G.] started selling drugs at 12,” CB2 committee member’s Lucy Koteen said at the time. “He was a school dropout at 17. He was arrested for drugs and weapons charge. He was arrested for parole violations. He was arrested in North Carolina for crack cocaine. In 1996 he was again arrested for assault.
“He had a violent death and physically the man is not exactly a role model for youth. I don’t see how this guy was a role model and frankly it offends me.”
But, Hip Hop has clearly prevailed and Christopher Wallace Way will finally become a reality. According to Billboard, the dedication ceremony is scheduled for June 10. Several members of Biggie’s family are expected to attend the public ceremony, including his mother Voletta Wallace.
May 21 (today) just happens to be the slain rapper’s 47th birthday. Bump some Biggie in his honor above.