A mural of The Notorious B.I.G. was defaced in Clinton Hill, the neighborhood where he grew up in Brooklyn.
Vincent Ballentine, the artist who created the mural in 2019, woke up to see his work vandalized. He spoke to CBS New York about what The Notorious B.I.G. mural meant to the Clinton Hill community on Friday (August 26).
“I think the neighborhood really saw it as he was one of ours, and he made it out,” Ballentine said. “And he made something of himself. That’s the story that people hold on to.”
The Notorious B.I.G. mural is located on the wall of a beauty salon. The location became a go-to destination for the Hush Hip Hop Tours.
“This is his stomping ground, everything,” tour guide Johnny Famous told CBS New York. “Biggie means a lot to the whole world, so for somebody to do this, it’s ridiculous. I know there’s a million cameras out here. Somebody saw something.”
Several Clinton Hill residents expressed their disappointment with the vandalism. One of those people was LeRoy McCarthy, who led the movement to get a Brooklyn street renamed in The Notorious B.I.G.’s honor.
“This is unfortunate,” McCarthy said. “A lot of hard work went into putting the artwork up by the artist and also the business owners and the neighborhood really appreciated it. People come from all over the world to come take a picture in front of this mural.”
Police are investigating the vandalism incident. Ballentine plans to fix the Biggie mural.