Community board nixes street renaming for Biggie, says rapper was too violent, fat
A Brooklyn community board has nixed a proposal to co-name a Clinton Hill street in honor of the Notorious B.I.G., saying the late rapper’s troubled past and weight make him a bad role model.
“He started selling drugs at 12, he was a school dropout at 17, he was arrested for drugs and weapons charge,” said Community Board 2 member Lucy Koteen at a meeting on Tuesday night. “He had a violent death and physically the man is not exactly a role model for youth.”
Koteen, who said she had looked up the rapper’s history, added, “I don’t see how this guy was a role model and frankly it offends me.”
Kenn Lowy, another board member, said he did not like the fact that Biggie used derogatory terms against women in his music.
Fans have been petitioning over the past few months to get the corner of St. James Place and Fulton Street co-named “Christopher Wallace Way,” after the rapper’s real name.
“Board members should not hold Wallace’s physical appearance nor how he died against him,” said LeRoy McCarthy, who began the movement, in a DNAinfo.com report.
“There are many artists that share stories in a vernacular that their audiences understand,” McCarthy said. “Biggie used the language from the streets he grew up in to convey what he wanted to say.”
The online petition that McCarthy started has more than 3,000 signatures.
The issue was tabled on Tuesday because Councilwoman and Public Advocate Candidate Letitia James has not issued a letter of support yet. The proposal could still move forward if James writes the letter.