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Artists, electeds unveil new Biggie Smalls murals on 25th anniversary of rapper’s death

artists with biggie smalls mural
Local artists Eli Salome Diaz, Carlo Niece, and Benny Guerra unveiled two new murals depicting The Notorious B.I.G. on Wednesday morning to honor the 25th anniversary of the rapper’s death.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Artists unveiled a pair of new murals honoring local legend The Notorious B.I.G. in Bedford-Stuyvesant this morning, celebrating the rapper on the 25th anniversary of his murder.

Graffiti artists Eli Salome-Diaz, Carlo Niece, and Benny Guerra were asked to paint the murals in just a week, they said, so they could be finished in time for the tragic anniversary.

biggie smalls mural in bedstuy
Artists, loved ones, and elected officials gathered in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Wednesday morning to officially unveil two new murals depicting beloved Brooklyn rapper Biggie Smalls. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

“We want this to be a representation of hope for the community at 951 Fulton Street,” the artists said. “Biggie and his lyrics were a part of what help make him a pillar in Brooklyn.”

The murals are painted at the corner of St. James Place and Fulton Street, just a few yards from where Smalls grew up in Clinton Hill. The only child of a preschool teacher, Smalls attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School in Downtown Brooklyn and got his start performing with local groups like the Techniques before he launched to superstardom in 1993.

B.I.G. was only 24 when he was shot and killed in Los Angeles in 1997.

biggie smalls mural
One of the murals depicts Biggie Smalls, aka The Notorious B.I.G., in his graduation garb. The famed rapper was born and raised in Brooklyn. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

“Biggie’s music helped identify me with Brooklyn,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on Wednesday morning. “It helped keep me off the street. I wonder if the rap game would be as interesting [without him]. His lyrics are timeless.”

jumaane williams biggie mural
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams celebrated Biggie’s contributions to Brooklyn and to rap as he and other Brooklynites gathered to unveil the two new murals. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Brooklynites have been remembering Smalls through art for years, painting odes to the beloved musician, known to many as the greatest musician of all time, in Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Prospect Heights, and Bushwick. 

“Biggie’s impact on Brooklyn is incredible and will never be forgotten,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.

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