The city of New York is set to rename a Brooklyn block after its most notable export: Christopher George Latore Wallace, better known as iconic rapper The Notorious B.I.G. The segment of St. James Place between Gates Avenue and Fulton Street in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood where Biggie grew up will soon be officially known as Christopher Wallace Way.


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The proposal passed its biggest political hurdle this past Wednesday when Brooklyn Community Board 2 voted to approve the re-naming petition in a landslide decision. The dedication is expected to be approved by the City Council and Mayor Bill De Blasio in their next session.

As Rolling Stone notes, the leader of the initiative, LeRoy McCarthy, said that if the measure is officially passed, the new sign will be officially dedicated around Biggie’s birthday on May 21st of next year. “Honoring Biggie symbolizes more than just one man,” McCarthy tells Rolling Stone. “It symbolizes a culture. It symbolizes a borough. It symbolizes a people, and hip-hop is worldwide.”

Over the years, there have been a handful of artists who helped define their era, who were the manifestation of the time and place in which they existed. The Beach Boys defined the good vibrations of Southern California in the early ’60’s. The Velvet Underground were emblematic of the nascent avant-garde punk scene in lower Manhattan in the late ’60’s and early 70’s. R.E.M. evokes visions of a burgeoning music community in 1980’s Athens, GA. And, of course, no artist embodied the mean streets of Brooklyn in the 90’s more than The Notorious B.I.G.

The proposed street dedication is the latest in a long string of Brooklyn-centric tributes to Biggie Smalls. Recently, Nike and the NBA revealed their Biggie-themed “City Edition” Brooklyn Nets uniforms, which feature trim based on the Coogi sweaters that Wallace made famous during his heyday.

In 2017, controversy broke out when a building owner in Biggie’s native Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood tried to take down a two-story mural of the rapper to renovate the property. A petition was launched that garnered thousands of signatures to keep the mural, dubbed “The King of New York,” intact, and it was eventually spared.

And that’s just one of many Notorious B.I.G. murals spread around Brooklyn. Biggie’s face adorns the sides of buildings throughout the NYC borough—and some of the murals even feature the aforementioned Coogi sweater, like this piece that currently watches over the Bushwick Collective:

In honor of the expected re-naming of Christopher Wallace Way, watch this notorious video of a 17-year-old Biggie freestyling on a local Bed-Stuy street corner in 1989:

The Notorious B.I.G Street Corner Freestyle (1989)

[Video: crakkerjed]

[H/T Okayplayer]