“Stereotypes of a black male misunderstood, but it’s still all good.”
A petition was issued, back in August, to co-name the corner of St. James Place and Fulton Street Christopher Wallace Way. The re-naming would pay homage to the late rapper Biggie Smalls, who grew up at 226 St. James Place.
Community board members in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill department are reportedly against the idea of adding Christopher Wallace Way, because the New York emcee apparently was too criminal and ill-mannered to be honored. Not to mention, he was also too fat.
According to DNAinfo, CB2 committee member Lucy Koteen states:
He started selling drugs at 12, 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.
Board member and owner of the Brooklyn Heights Cinema, Kenn Lowy, added on by saying he did not approve of the Notorious B.I.G.’s misogynist lyrics, referring to women with demeaning names.
LeRoy McCarthy, 45, who initiated the movement to name the intersection after Biggie, expressed after the meeting that “board members should not hold Wallace’s physical appearance nor how he died against him,” and further explained the colloquial language with which the rapper spoke.
There are many artists that share stories in a vernacular that their audiences understand. Biggie used the language from the streets he grew up in to convey what he wanted to say.
McCarthy garnered “support from two local churches, a mosque, a nearby block association, several local businesses and more than 1,000 comments from people all over the world who signed an online petition” and presented them to the committee.
Letitia James, councilwoman and candidate for public advocate, has not sent out a letter of support, which is obligatory in order for the proposal to advance.