Update: “We used to fuss when the landlord dissed us…” – The Notorious B.I.G.
Biggie would be proud.
A single landlord was the only thing in the way of an iconic mural in his honor remaining intact in his native Brooklyn. Everyone from fans of the late rapper, to the Brooklyn Nets to the artists who first painted the piece themseleves urged Samuel Berkowitz to change his mind about destroying it so he could install windows and increase rent prices. Eventually, their pleas came through.
The mural of Biggie Smalls will remain after Berkowitz changed his mind, according to DNA Info.
“To be honest, he just didn’t know how important Biggie is to Brooklyn,” said Naoufal “Rocko” Alaoui, who painted the mural with Scott “Zimer” Zimmerman in 2015. “He’s not a bad guy. A lot of people offered to help financially, but he said he don’t need the money, just the respect of his neighbors.”
Thank you Brooklyn! And a very very special thanks to the landlords for recognizing the importance of Biggie in this neighborhood! First we would like to thank both the Mayor's and congressman Jeffries offices for reaching out and offering all kinds of support to keep this iconic mural where it is! We also would like to thank every single local organization for coming forward with their resources . We would like to thank all the companies for offering financial support. ATLANTA has got so much love for Biggie! Thank you TI @troubleman31 for having your team contact us on a daily basis to get the updates. Special thanks to Mr. Guevara from @brooklynnets for the daily phone calls to make sure we get all the needed resources. We would like to thank all of you who have stood besides us! PLEASE if you see the landlords, THANK them for this generous gift to our community!! ! Happy Belated Birthday, King!!! 🎂@tyanna810 @cjordanwallace @therealfaithevans #spreadloveitsthebrooklynway #spreadartnyc #bedfordandquincy #20bigyears #biggiemural #biggie #biggiesmalls
Earlier: For two years, a mural dedicated to Brooklyn’s own Biggie Smalls could be seen on a building at Bedford Ave. and Quincy St. Sadly, due to the landlord’s determination to renovate the building, the mural is likely going to be destroyed.
The landlord, Samuel Berkowitz, told DNA Info that he has every right to do so given that he could tear the building down if he really wanted to. Residents have also complained of the foot traffic that the building brings from people looking to see the artwork.
An Instagram post published by Spread Art NYC tells an account of how the mural would be damaged so that extra windows could be put in the building to increase rent prices.
A few updates on "king Of NY" Mural: we just want everyone to know that Spread Art NYC, your humble community Art organization has been working real hard to keep this mural up for the past year! Landlord always calls us and Claims that the neighbors are complaining about the mural and the crowds it attracts. About 4 months ago, he told us about the construction he will be doing which will damage the mural in the process. He will be opening Windows on the wall to increase rent profit by $500 according to them. Today Spread Art NYC offered $5000 (which we planned to gather from the community and the fans) not to open the windows. Unfortunately, that offer was declined and it was answered by a counteroffer of $1250 a month. At this point, there is nothing Spread Art NYC can do to save this mural. We will continue to serve our neighborhoods regardless!! Community is our goal, we like to give back and we thought A biggie mural at the corner of #bedfordandquincy was needed to keep the culture alive, to keep Brooklyn Alive. We always say, Brooklyn is Biggie and Biggie is Brooklyn. A landlord can NEVER change that! We want to thank everyone for the love! We promise, we GOT YOU!!!💪💯#spreadartnyc #20bigyears #bedstuy #bedfordstuyvesant #biggie #kingofny #livefrombedfordstuyvesant #spreadloveitsthebrooklynway
It’s sad, but not entirely surprising, that a piece of art would meet its end because someone is looking to make some extra cash.