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Notorious B.I.G. mural in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn to be destroyed, landlord says

William E. Ketchum III

 // May 22, 2017

New York Daily News Archive // Getty Images

Notorious B.I.G.'s legacy will live on forever, but a mural of the livest one in his hometown borough will be destroyed soon.

A two-story mural in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn, at Bedford Avenue and Quincy Street, depicts the iconic photo of Biggie wearing a crown. The piece has been an attraction since it was painted in 2015, but the landlord of the building said he plans to remove it to add windows to the property.

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“Let me rephrase the question: Why should I keep it?” said landlord Samuel Berkowitz on a phone call with DNA Info. “I don’t even see the point of the discussion. I could demolish the building if I wanted to, I don’t need no permission from anyone except the DOB.”

Spread Art NYC - an art collective that is affiliated with the mural creators Naoufal “Rocko” Alaoui and Scott "Zimer" Zimmerman - said that Berkowitz had originally offered to let the mural stand if he could be paid $1,200 per month, but the collective couldn't afford the costs.

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

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Sunday (May 21) would have been Biggie's 45th birthday. Read REVOLT TV's story with the famed photographer who took a picture of Biggie on his 21st birthday, and listen to REVOLT's birthday playlist for the rap legend. Diddy also paid homage to his legacy at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards.

The King and I, a duet album featuring a posthumous Biggie Smalls and his wife Faith Evans, is available now.

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