The late Notorious B.I.G. may have a hard time landing a spot in Brooklyn, New York as reports claim opposition to the music mogul receiving a street sign named after him has mounted.
According to reports, a community board meeting this week 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)
Since the debate has heated up, various bloggers and hip-hop enthusiasts have spoken out.
There’s no doubt that Biggie’s lyrics often had misogynist themes. But let’s face it: Misogynist song lyrics only count against you if you’re black and/or a rapper. A hero in a Willie Nelson song goes around shooting prostitutes, and Johnny Cash cheerfully sang about killing women, even romanticizing cocaine use while he was at it. No one bats an eye when these men are honored in museums and by having streets named after them. Joey Ramone got his street corner, despite singing a gleeful tune called “You’re Gonna Kill That Girl.” When it comes to country western and punk, for some reason, it’s easier to understand that audiences have complex relationships with crime narratives in pop music, much as they do with Scorsese films and AMC shows that depict drugs and violence, even misogynist violence, in glamorized ways while still expecting viewers to know that it’s wrong. Hip-hop has always been held to a different standard. (Slate)
B.I.G’s childhood apartment hit the real estate market earlier this year.
The Clinton Hill apartment where the Notorious B.I.G. grew up went on the market yesterday for $725,000, the Intelligencer reports. The decor looks more like it suits an elderly couple than a hip-hop all-star, but remember he hasn’t lived there in decades–even though tour buses of devotees regularly make pilgrimages to the site. Located in a multi-family townhouse surrounded by others just like it, 226 Saint James Street #3L is a 3BR/1BA unit on a tree-lined street. Back in 2004, it sold for $424,866, according to Streeteasy, making this a hefty flip if buyers jump at the chance to live where a small Biggie Smalls (before he was even called that) hung his hat. (Curbed)