Encore: CB2 revisiting proposal to co-name street for rapper ‘Biggie Smalls’

Encore: CB2 revisiting proposal to co-name street for rapper ‘Biggie Smalls’
Associated Press / Mark Lennihan

He just loves this rapper’s flashy ways!

A Brooklyn artist will resubmit his proposal to co-name a Clinton Hill street after the late local hip-hop legend, Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace, at a meeting of Community Board 2’s Transportation Committee next Thursday, according to information from the board.

LeRoy McCarthy — who, with the blessing of state transit officials, recently installed “Respect” signs in Crown Heights’s Franklin Avenue subway station as a tribute to the late singer Aretha Franklin — is proposing to christen St. James Place between Gates Avenue and Fulton Street as “Christopher Wallace Way,” roughly five years after he first suggested the honor, which local leaders in 2013 chose not to pursue due to some community members’ objections.

The artist will present his case along with a letter supporting the initiative from Clinton Hill Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, who noted Wallace grew up on the block that could bear his name, and that he continues to influence local and popular culture long after his fatal 1997 shooting at 24-years-old.

“He was a Brooklyn icon then, and remains one to this day,” Cumbo, who took office in 2014, wrote in the letter.

Last year, the board’s Executive and Parks Committees unanimously voted to approve naming basketball courts at Fulton Street’s Crispus Attucks Playground for the rapper — despite complaints from some locals, including one Fort Greener who said doing so would endorse “that he stood for drugs and carrying illegal guns.”

Share your thoughts on the proposal at Community Board 2’s Transportation Committee meeting at Long Island University (1 University Plz. at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb avenues, Humanities Building Room 604) at 6 pm.

Reach Deputy Editor Anthony Rotunno at arotunno@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8303.
All hail: Artist LeRoy McCarthy (not pictured), is again proposing the co-naming, and recently worked with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to install signs memorializing the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, inside Crown Heights’s Franklin Avenue subway station.
File photo by Brianna Kudisch