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Rapper’s Notorious Past Could Be Big Roadblock To ‘Christopher Wallace Way’

Community Board 2 Members Have Pushed Back Against The Proposed Street Name
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Notorious B.I.G. funeral scene March 18, 1997. (credit: JON LEVY/AFP/Getty Images)

Notorious B.I.G. funeral scene March 18, 1997. (credit: JON LEVY/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — He claimed to have “made the change from a common thief” but for one community leader, that change may not be enough to land late rapper Biggie Smalls his own permanent spot on the corner of St. James Place and Fulton Street.

Community Board 2 member Lucy Koteen told 1010 WINS reporter Carol D’Auria that the popularity of Notorious B.I.G’s music does not warrant changing the name of the corner to “Christopher Wallace Way.”

“It didn’t seem to me like this man was worthy of being rewarded in this way,” Koteen said.

Koteen cited Wallace’s criminal history and weight, and pointed out that naming a street corner for every successful Brooklyn native would be nearly impossible.

“He does not seem like the kind of role model that we would want to emulate,” she said.

Leroy McCarthy has been spearheading the effort to get the slain rapper his own street corner. He told DNAinfo that the artist’s weight should not be held against him.

“Board members should not hold Wallace’s physical appearance nor how he died against him,” he said.

McCarthy brought the board letters of support from a pair of local churches, a mosque, and a nearby block association, as well as several local businesses and over 1,000 comments of support from an online petition, DNAinfo reported.

A key element missing from McCarthy’s pitch to the community board may have been a letter of support from Councilwoman and public advocate candidate Letitia James.

The community board’s Transportation and Public Safety Committee tabled the issue until James or her successor issues a letter, according to DNAinfo.

Wallace was raised on St. James Place in Clinton Hill and was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in 1997.

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