As the Internet heats up following the late Notorious B.I.G. getting slammed over his past raps and being denied a possible street sign in New York, petitioner LeRoy McCarthy has stepped forward to speak out.
According to McCarthy, his petition idea started out as small talk and then turned into a widespread movement.
“I’ve lived in Clinton Hill since ’98. I used to live in Atlanta, and when I lived in Atlanta, I used to work for Bad Boy/Arista. When I moved to Clinton Hill, I didn’t know until like a year later that Biggie lived around the block. [Once I learned that] I said there should be some type of symbol for this great artist that lived nearby. Years went by and nothing happened, so I decided to start the petition. First I discussed it with a few people in the neighborhood to see if they would support it, and they said they would, but nobody had done anything. So I took it upon myself to start the petition.” (Complex)
Despite getting shut down during a community hearing earlier in the week, LeRoy revealed people can still get behind his petition.
“They can still sign the petition online to show that there is support in the community, New York City and America from people who think Christopher Wallace deserves to have a street co-named in his honor. I’m not thinking about having people call the offices of these elected officials because I know people that know them personally. Two weeks ago I met Chuck Schumer and told him what I was doing and he said it was great. He told me about how he helped save the rec center that Kool Herc used to spin at. The City Council is largely Democratic, but there’s going to be a new councilmember sworn in [this coming] January. I’m hoping they’ll be younger and hipper. Some of them are under 40, so they’ll understand the music, the culture and its influence. Hopefully they’ll understand how hip-hop has deterred the youth from following a path of negativity. I’m also hoping the people behind Big Pun will restart their efforts to have him honored, because the Latino influence in hip-hop is tremendous and Big Pun represents that.” (Complex)
According to reports this week, a community board meeting sparked opposition toward B.I.G. being remembered courtesy of a Brooklyn street sign.
CB2 member Lucy Koteen said she “looked up the rapper’s history” and read what she had learned to the full board Tuesday night. “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,” she said. “I don’t see how this guy was a role model and frankly it offends me.” (DNA Info)
Following Koteen’s comments, a local owner spoke out against the late Frank White.
Meanwhile, another board member, Ken Lowy, owner of the Brooklyn Heights Cinema, objected to how Biggie talked about women in his songs. But the lyricist just used street vernacular, countered petitioner LeRoy McCarthy, also lamenting to DNA Info that “board members should not hold Wallace’s physical appearance nor how he died against him.” Objecting to Christopher Wallace’s criminal history is one thing, but not wanting to honor him because of his heft? Declaration of Independence signee Philip Livingston had a double chin, maybe Brooklyn should give Garden Place to someone way more cute. (Gawker)