Clinton Hill, BROOKLYN (PIX11)– He was gunned down in 1997, but Christopher Wallace or Notorious BIG or Biggie Smalls as his fans know him, is still remembered in the neighborhoods he grew up in in Clinton Hill Brooklyn.
Murals bearing his image aren’t hard to find and even his famous lyrics can be found plastered across buildings, but it’s the more permanent suggestion of naming the intersection at St James Place and Fulton Christopher Wallace Way that has gotten some criticism.
“Can we say as a performer was he exemplary? I think the record shows that’s certainly the case. Was he a role model? That’s what the committee is currently wrestling with,” said Robert Perris, District Manager of Brooklyn’s Community Board 2.
The local community board got together this past Tuesday to discuss the proposal brought forth by LeRoy McCarthy. Despite McCarthy gathering more than a 1,000 signatures from the neighborhood and more than 3,000 online. some don’t believe naming a street after Wallace is appropriate and cited his lifestyle, criminal history and lyrics.
But what really got people talking was when member of the Transportation and Public Safety Committee simply cited Wallace was too fat as a reason to to say no.
While others may not have the same story as Wallace, New York City is no stranger to commemorating rappers.
A street in Hollis Queens named after Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay and back in Brooklyn, Beastie Boy MCA is remembered at the Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn Heights.
When it comes to Wallace, McCarthy doesn’t deny his colorful and at times offensive lyrics, but insisted the larger than life rapper be remembered for what he’s left behind and the impact he’s left on a community.