Here comes another case of Misunderstanding Hip Hop, this time featuring Brooklyn Community Board No. 2. Last month, the community board rejected a petition to rename the street Notorious B.I.G. grew up on due to his past, his lyrics and his weight.
The petition was incepted by LeRoy McCarthy to rename 226 St. James Pl in Brooklyn and amassed over 3,000 signatures in under 3 months. Lucy Koteen, a member of the Brooklyn Community Board No. 2 stated that the Notorious B.I.G. did not lead a role model life to warrant such an honor:
He started selling drugs at 12, he was a school dropout at 17, he was arrested for drugs and weapons charge, he was arrested for parole violations, he was arrested in North Carolina for crack cocaine, in 1996 he was again arrested for assault, he had a violent death and physically the man is not exactly a role model for youth,” she said. “I don’t see how this guy was a role model and frankly it offends me.
In an interview with Complex last month (October 18th), McCarthy explained the disconnect between the CB2 and the people in support of Christopher Wallace Way is indicative of a continued misunderstanding of Hip Hop:
Afraid of hip-hop but also illiterate of hip-hop and the culture that hip-hop is rooted in. They kind of lack the ability to have a clear and concise understanding.