CLINTON HILL, Brooklyn (PIX11) — A mural in Brooklyn honoring hip hop legend Biggie Smalls was vandalized Friday morning, provoking outrage from the community.

The words “East Coast” were written in red paint on the Biggie mural on Fulton Street in Clinton Hill, the neighborhood in Brooklyn where Biggie grew up.

“I think it’s horrible what they did to this. It’s awful,” Clinton Hill resident Marcia Adams said. “Even if you don’t love Biggie, it is an exceptional piece of artwork. It’s part of the neighborhood. Express your feelings elsewhere, but don’t deface another artist’s work.”

In addition to the words painted in red, there was a big splotch of black paint thrown on Biggie’s face. A team was working on Friday to clean up the paint as best they could without damaging the mural, which was originally painted in 2019.

Biggie, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, grew up on St. James Place in Clinton Hill near where the defaced mural is located. He’s a hero to many who also grew up in the neighborhood.

“He came out of the ‘hood from here, so he represents this area,” said resident Irv Pantin. “To do something like that is a big disrespect to him and the family.”

The NYPD is investigating who was responsible for the vandalism. Police believe it happened early Friday morning when the streets were mostly empty.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).