The people have spoken. Roughly one week after a landlord by the name of Samuel Berkowitz revealed his plans to have Brooklyn’s famous Notorious B.I.G. mural removed from his building, we’ve learned the mural is here to stay. Turning the tide was no easy feat.
Brooklyn residents were understandably mortified when they learned of the landlord’s plan to remove the mural, which has been a staple of the neighborhood since it was painted some two years ago. According to Berkowitz, his complaint about the mural’s popularity lead to a constant stream of folks coming by to pay homage to the late rap superstar, giving him a reason to remove it.
When Berkowitz revealed his plans, Brooklyn’s Nia Raquelle started a petition to keep the mural where she and many other residents believe it belonged. The petition received over 3,500 signatures.
The petition, in conjunction with what was undoubtedly some negative attention from media outlets, apparently led to Berkowitz deciding against removing the mural. Spread Art NYC, which is the arts organization that first reported the famous Biggie mural was in trouble, reported the news through their social media accounts today (May 23). They also served up a large heap of thank you’s to T.I. and the Brooklyn Nets, who apparently both helped ensure the mural’s preservation.
“Thank you Brooklyn! And a very very special thanks to the landlords for recognizing the importance of Biggie in this neighborhood!” reads the caption for Spread Art NYC’s post.
It continues with the aforementioned thank you’s: “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!!! [email protected] @cjordanwallace @therealfaithevans #spreadloveitsthebrooklynway #spreadartnyc #bedfordandquincy #20bigyears #biggiemural #biggie# biggiesmalls.”
It’s now been over 20 years since The Notorious B.I.G.’s untimely death, and what would have been the rapper’s birthday 45th birthday has just passed. One thing that hasn’t, though, is the lasting impression he made with his irrepressible charisma, effortless stage presence and lethal skills on the microphone. With all of that in mind, the preservation of Brooklyn’s Biggie mural stands as a huge W for rap fans everywhere.