Hip-Hop Fought For Biggie & Won. His Mural Will NOT Be Destroyed.
Late last week, reports circulated that a Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn mural honoring rapper Biggie Smalls would be coming down. A property owner of the building holding the mural near the intersection of Bedford Avenue and Quincy Street reportedly intended to make improvements to the building exterior, including more windows on the side where the mural (created by Naoufal Alaoui and Scott Zimmerman) is painted. Furthermore, that owner, Samuel Berkowitz, apparently cited tenant complaints about the popular arts attraction of the Brooklyn, New Yorker who died 20 years ago this past March.
One arts group, Spread Art NYC, reportedly offered $5,000 to ownership to keep the mural in tact. Reports Friday (May 19) indicated that the landlord instead negotiated for $1,250 per month to reconsider. At that time, the mural’s fate appeared doomed.
Over the weekend, fans of The Notorious B.I.G. celebrated what would have been Christopher Wallace’s 45th birthday on May 21. Those closest to Biggie including mentor Puff Daddy, producer Easy Mo Bee, and Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s Lil’ Cease posted memorial content of the iconic Ready To Die creator.
Today (May 22), Spread Art NYC announced that the mural has been saved in an Instagram post. Ambrosia For Heads reached out for comment this evening, but did not hear back by time of publication. In any event, the news is welcomed by fans of Biggie Smalls, street art, and representation of one of Brooklyn’s most beloved natives.
In their announcement, Spread Art suggests support efforts from rapper T.I., the Brooklyn Nets (who recently honored B.I.G. at Barclays Center), 8th District Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, and apparently New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. In the post, the organization also praised the cooperation and recognition from the building landlords.