One of the most iconic murals of the King of New York, Notorious B.I.G., will be destroyed as the owner of the building “prepares to renovate.”
That’s a funny way of spelling gentrification, but okay.
The mural, which was painted in 2015 on Bedford Avenue and Quincy Street, has brought outsiders and hip hop heads alike from far and wide. The disappearance of the mural is all thanks to Samuel Berkowitz, the landlord.
In an interview with DNA Info, he said he saw no reason to keep the mural.
“Let me rephrase the question: Why should I keep it?” he said. “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.”
He secured permits in March for the work, which includes a gut renovation of the second floor and the addition of two windows to the wall with the mural, according to records from the Department of Buildings.
If 2017 Brooklyn were to meet 1986 Brooklyn in a dark alley way, the gritty original would pistol whip it’s predecessor with such vehement disgust, it would end up in Long Island.
The artists of the “King of NY” mural Naoufal “Rocko” Alaoui and Scott “Zimer” Zimmerman tried banding together with their collective Spread Art NYC to stop the destruction. The group offered Berkowitz $5,000 to preserve it but he countered it with a monthly charge of $1250, a cost they couldn’t afford.
“At this point, there is nothing Spread Art NYC can do to save this mural,” the collective wrote in an Instagram post. “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!”
If 2017 Brooklyn were to meet 1986 Brooklyn in a dark alley way, the gritty original would pistol whip it’s predecessor with such vehement disgust, it would end up in Long Island. As gentrification continues to wipe our history out from the streets, how much longer will it be until our own people are completely lost with the pull of the tide?
UPDATE: A Change.org petition has now started to make the rounds on the internet, in hopes to save the landmark mural, and already has over 1K signatures. You know what to do, ya’ll.