biggie-smalls-brooklyn-mural biggie-smalls-brooklyn-mural
Getty Images

Biggie Smalls' Mural Will Remain On Brooklyn Building...For Now

Spread love it's the Brooklyn way.

Gentrifiers thought they were about to take the chip when it was reported a Brooklyn landlord was planning to remove a mural of Biggie Smalls from the side of a building in order to add more windows and raise the rent.

The mural, done by Spread Art NYC, was placed on Samuel Berkowitz's Bed Stuy building located on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Quincy Street. Berkowitz maintained he received complaints from several tenants who said the mural of The Life After Death artist merited too much attention from tourists. While speaking with DNAinfo, Berkowitz said he didn't need anyone's permission to remove the mural of Big.

“Why should I keep it?” he told DNAinfo. “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 [New York City Department of Buildings].”

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

A post shared by Spread Art NYC (@spreadartnyc) on

Well it seemed as if Berkowitz has had a change of heart. According to a statement from the creators of the mural, they reached an agreement with the landlord and the piece titled "King of NY" will remain for now.

“He is such a nice and giving person. We want everyone to thank him for keeping the Biggie mural,” Naoufal Rocko” Alaoui of Spread Art NYC said. “He didn’t realize who Biggie was and how important Biggie is to Brooklyn.”

From the Web

More on Vibe

Madame Tussauds for VIBE

Exclusive: Aaliyah's Madame Tussauds Wax Figure Channels "Try Again" Era

Today (Aug. 21), the newest addition to Madame Tussauds family of icons makes its big debut. After much demand, a wax figure of Aaliyah, or “Babygirl” to long standing fans and music industry peers is now open to the public at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas. The figure, which many fans will agree is long overdue, comes nearly 18 years after her tragic passing.

According to Adam Morey, Studios Manager at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, discussions around the making of an Aaliyah figure began over a year and a half ago. Morey has played a role in establishing the set designs to accompany several of the other celebrity figures at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, but wanted to make sure this one was more about inspiration than flair. “This set, rather than being a recreation of any one particular Aaliyah moment, was instead designed with a message to her fans in mind,” he says. “It’s a message that hopefully reflects her everlasting legacy.”

The new statue plucks Aaliyah straight from a frame in her 2000 “Try Again” music video, where she dons her signature leather pants and metallic bra, belt and choker set (which is still a Halloween costume staple to this day).

“It was clear right away it would be the ‘Try Again’ look for our Aaliyah figure,” he says via email statement. “The look has the sexy, edgy, timeless vibe we try to imbue in the Las Vegas attraction within all our creative choices. Mining popular culture as only Madame Tussauds can, our desire to honor Aaliyah and the look in this way was only confirmed as we see today’s Hollywood stars like KeKe Palmer, Kim Kardashian, Zendaya, also paying homage by recreating their own favorite moments of the Princess of R&B.”

Aside from Morey, one of the critical voices in ensuring the accuracy of this endeavor was that of Aaliyah’s brother, Rashad Haughton, who Morey says granted “unprecedented access” and helped guide the creative decisions for the figure.

“I was involved in the process from the inception of the project,” Haughton says via email statement. “The team at Madame Tussauds welcomed a collaborative effort in choosing the pose and look of my sister's figure. They made sure my mother and I were comfortable and supported through an amazing but understandably emotional process.”

Morey and the sculptors, painters and stylists in the museum’s Acton Studios in London, worked to make sure that all of the Haughton family’s requests for Aaliyah’s likeness were honored, right on down to her tattoos. “One thing we made sure to include was all of my sister's tattoos,” Haughton says. “They are all quite hidden because my sister chose strategic places for them due to her on-camera film work. We know how devout and knowledgeable her fans are and the great artists at Madame Tussauds have no limitations to their abilities when it comes to detail.”

Now, whenever guests make their way to the museum to see the statue, they’ll know it was crafted in love and in reverence of her legacy.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Questlove To Executive Produce Broadway Musical About ‘Soul Train’

Soul Train, the audacious dance series that proudly spotlighted black culture while showcasing performances from legendary artists such as Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and more, is the focus of a new Broadway musical with Queslove as executive producer, Deadline reports.

The Roots drummer, who authored the 2013 book Soul Train: The Music, Dance and Style of a Generation, will executive produce the musical alongside, Tony Corneilus, son of Soul Train host and creator, Don Corneilus. Having worked directly with his father for “several years,” Cornelius’ son expressed gratitude for the impact that the series “has had on the culture at large,” both stateside and abroad.

Playwright Dominique Moriseeau, director Kamilah Forbes, and choreographer Camille A. Brown, are also included in the musical's production team. In a statement to Deadline, Morisseau said that she can’t wait to collaborate with a “legendary creative team of incredible women to celebrate the history and the unsung hero of our nation’s longest running televised music and dance series.”

More than 20 hits from the era are set to be featured in the musical, which will also detail Cornelius’ story in the early days of creating the series. Soul Train debuted in October 1971, and took its final bow in March of 2006. Cornelius died by suicide in 2012.

The musical is slated to debut in 2021, corresponding with the 50th anniversary of Soul Train’s television debut.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" Is No Longer The Number One Song In America

Lil Nas X's bonafide smash "Old Town Road" has been dethroned from its unprecedented 19-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

According to the publication, rising alt-pop star Billie Eilish now has the No. 1 song in the country with her track "Bad Guy." The song has been sitting at No. 2 for nine weeks straight. Lil Nas X, who collaborated with the likes of Billy Ray Cyrus, Young Thug, Mason Ramsey and more superstars for various remixes of the song, congratulated the 17-year-old on her first No. 1 hit via Twitter.

"Old Town Road" now holds the No. 3 spot behind  Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello's "Señorita."

The Atlanta musician catapulted to fame after "Old Town Road" made the rounds. Initially, it was removed from Billboard's Country chart for reportedly not implementing enough elements of the genre. Since then, it has shattered records and expectations.

Just a few weeks ago, it became the longest-running No. 1 in American music history, breaking a record held by Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber (for "One Sweet Day" and "Despacito," respectively).

Lil Nas X has a lot to be proud of. Congrats on a historic run.

congratulations to billie eilish!! u deserve this!!

— nope (@LilNasX) August 19, 2019

Continue Reading

Top Stories