Proposals to name a Brooklyn street corner after the late rapper Notorious BIG have hit a stumbling block – a member of the local community board believes he was too fat to be a role model.
The musician, whose real name was Christopher Wallace and who also went by the moniker Biggie Smalls, was shot dead in 1997 six months after his rival Tupac Shakur. Ever since, there have been rumours that the killings were part of a deadly rap feud.
Local resident LeRoy McCarthy petitioned to have Fulton Street renamed after Notorious BIG, and according to Village Voice he made his case to the area's Community Board 2 on Tuesday, having accrued more than 3,000 electronic signatures and 1,000 handwritten ones.
But a report by DNA Info claims that committee member Lucy Koteen voiced concerns over the rapper's criminal history and his size.
"He started selling drugs at 12, he was a school dropout at 17, he was arrested for drugs and weapons charge, he was arrested for parole violations, he was arrested in North Carolina for crack cocaine, in 1996 he was again arrested for assault, he had a violent death and physically the man is not exactly a role model for youth," she said.
"I don't see how this guy was a role model and frankly it offends me."
McCarthy said, "board members should not hold Wallace's physical appearance nor how he died against him," and also tackled the issue of his apparently misogynistic lyrics.
"There are many artists that share stories in a vernacular that their audiences understand," he said.
"Biggie used the language from the streets he grew up in to convey what he wanted to say."
The plans will need the approval of New York City Council member Letitia James before they can go ahead.Reuse content