Biggie mural in Brooklyn to depict “his roots, not the rap icon”

It’s been one week since the 18th anniversary of the death of Notorious BIG. Tributes are still pouring in from around the hip hop world and surrounds, but one artist is planning to cement is legacy in a far more permanent way. Street artist Danielle Mastrion is planning a large mural to be put up by the Key Food market in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, where Biggie grew up and worked as a child. DNA Info reports that the grocery store has commissioned the artist, also known for her sprawling Beastie Boys mural, and it will be located to the side of apartments above the store.

The mural is set to depict Biggie in a very different way to the audacious, excessive character we came to know through his later lifestyle. It will lay tribute to the child, then known as Christopher Wallace, and the neighbourhood he grew up in. The artist says, “This is about his roots and not the rap icon that he became. It will be of him as a child sitting on the steps of his brownstone, like any other kid in the neighbourhood.”

Grocery store owner Rocky Widdi says, “Biggie was like all the other neighborhood kids — hanging around in the summer, asking if he could bag groceries for tips. That’s what the kids around here used to do.”

It’s been arranged by Leroy McCarthy, who also petitioned to co-name the intersection of St James Place and Fulton Street, ‘Christopher Wallace Way.’

“This is where he’s from,” says McCarthy. “Growing up everything he did and everyone he knew was in this five to seven block radius — this mural will honour that history and help keep it alive.”

The mural will be up later this month!