St. James Place and Fulton Street in Brooklyn has been re-named in honor of legendary rapper, Notorious B.I.G whose real name was Christopher Wallace.
BIG was born and raised in the borough.Wallace, also known as “Biggie Smalls,” was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1997 after leaving a music industry event in Los Angeles.
Shortly afterwards, efforts to honor him in his Brooklyn neighborhood were met with resistance, largely because of his lyrics and the way he died.
rapper Lil Cease said, “I used to dream about a street being named after Biggie, because it was only right.”
“This street is going to be a love street. People are going to come here and they’re going to know that a young man, my son, was living here,” said Biggie’s mother Voletta Wallace.
This isn’t the only way Biggie Smalls will be remembered in his hometown. Two years ago, a playground was named after him: The Christopher “Biggie” Wallace courts.
The effort to rename the area for Wallace started back in 2013, when cultural advocate LeRoy McCarthy first proposed it. McCarthy has been involved in multiple projects to get the city to pay tribute to local musicians, from Aretha Franklin to the Wu-Tang Clan. But the Biggie effort was initially rejected by Community Board 2 due to objections over his lyrics (one person even argued he was too fat to be honored). Toward the end of 2018, the street sign was brought back up
City Council finally approved the co-naming last fall — a victory for the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, according to local City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo.
Gentrifiers “want to erase the history, they want to put up new cafes and boutiques and push us out of our community. That’s why this sign is important today — so that the history of this place is told to our children and our children’s children,” she said.