Brooklyn marked the 25th anniversary of the Notorious B.I.G.’s passing by unveiling a new mural dedicated to him in Bed-Stuy Wednesday.
Created by artists Eliot Salomé-Diaz, Carlo Nieva, Benny Guerra and Tylan Deputy, the tribute to Biggie adorns the wall of a former liquor store (and now pharmacy) on Fulton Street where the legendary rapper frequently hung out.
“When his music came out, I just connected,” Salomé-Diaz told News 12. “He told the stories of us just growing up as we were coming up in New York City.”
Jumaane Williams, the city’s public advocate, was also present at Wednesday’s unveiling, and used the pulpit to rail against gun violence in the borough.
“He put Brooklyn on his back like no one else could, and we lost him to gun violence,” Williams said. “And it’s still here. I do want to make sure there’s responsible music. I want to be clear about that but the answer to that is to change what is happening on the ground, so people are not using that violence to communicate.”
Today we’re spreading love the Brooklyn way, unveiling a new mural of #BiggieSmalls 25 years after his death— a sign of the importance of the artist and of the arts.
Biggie lost his life to gun violence— a quarter century later, we still continue the fight to end that epidemic. pic.twitter.com/bRicDd0Xnc
— Office of the Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams (@nycpa) March 9, 2022
The rap legend, born Christopher Wallace, still looms large in his native neighborhood in spite (or because) of major changes here brought on in part by gentrification. He was just 24 when he was killed in an unsolved 1997 shooting in Los Angeles.
The mural was one of several ways New Yorkers marked the rapper’s tragic passing and enduring influence. New York Nico also posted a video tribute to Biggie Smalls on Instagram, featuring New Yorkers rapping along with his music.