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Clinton Hill street “likely” being co-named after Biggie, 5 years after initial opposition

Last year, a basketball court in Clinton Hill was renamed in Biggie‘s honor (despite some initial backlash), and now it’s “likely” that a street in the same neighborhood will get the same treatment, Brooklyn Paper reports. On Thursday, members of the neighborhood community board nearly unanimously approved a proposal to co-name St. James Place between Gates Avenue and Fulton Street (the block Biggie grew up on), “Christopher Wallace Way.” The co-naming was proposed five years ago by Brooklyn artist LeRoy McCarthy — a man who has dedicated his life to this kind of thing (he’s the same person who spearheaded the rejected “Beastie Boys Square” renaming and the Beastie Boys mural, as well as the Aretha Franklin subway installation and the A Tribe Called Quest mural on Linden Boulevard, and who has been hoping to make “Wu-Tang Clan District” a reality) — and was initially opposed by local leaders. “At that time it was a pretty embarrassing reaction. It was sad for Brooklyn, and the community board,” McCarthy said, according to Brooklyn Paper.

As the article reports, not everyone approves of the co-naming:

Fort Greener Lucy Koteen — who the last time around notoriously argued the rapper also known as Notorious B.I.G. was too fat to be honored, among other things — again begged committee members to vote “nay,” citing some of the rhyme spitter’s more salacious lyrics, printouts of which she distributed at the meeting.

“How many of you read his lyrics? I have a treat for you,” said Koteen, who called the rapper a gun-toter, drug seller, and misogynist as she whipped out her evidence. “I invite any of you to read these out loud, and read them to your children. I can’t even say what his words are, they are all about promiscuous sex.”

But as board member John Dew reportedly pointed out, “We have a president whose lyrics you can’t read out loud.”

After the panel’s full board votes on the co-naming, it will head to Council, and it will “almost certainly pass” considering the project already earned the support of Clinton Hill Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo.

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