Biggie mural in Bed-Stuy to be destroyed during building renovations, art group claims

A Bed-Stuy mural dedicated to The Notorious B.I.G. may be facing demolition.
A Bed-Stuy mural dedicated to The Notorious B.I.G. may be facing demolition. Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes

The Bed-Stuy Biggie mural’s final days may be near, according to a local art group. 

A three-story mural designed in tribute to Brooklyn’s late rapper The Notorious B.I.G. may be demolished as the building’s landlord plans renovations. Spread Art NYC, a group affiliated with the portrait’s artists, Naoufal “Rocko” Alaoui and Scott “Zimer” Zimmerman, shared two posts on Instagram this week announcing the news. The installation has adorned the side of a building on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Quincy Street since 2015. 

” ‘King of NY’ mural will soon be put to rest sometime very soon,” a post shared on Saturday read. Three days later, the group cited issues with the building’s landlord, Solomon Berkowitz, as the reasoning behind its impending demise. 

“Landlord always calls us and claims that the neighbors are complaining about the mural and the crowds it attracts,” the group said. “About 4 months ago, he told us about the construction he will be doing which will damage the mural in the process.”

Berkowitz obtained permits for planned construction to the building at 1091 Bedford Ave. in March, according to Department of Building records. The permits describe renovations to the second and third floor of the building, as well as window replacements. According to Spread Art NYC, the renovations include plans to open “windows on the wall to increase rent profit by $500.” 

Berkowitz did not immediately respond for comment. 

The group also claims to have offered Berkowitz $1,250 per month to keep the mural safe, an offer he allegedly rejected.

The mural’s location marks a spot where the legendary rapper often took part in freestyle rap battles. It’s located only a few blocks from Biggie’s childhood home at 226 St. James Place. Biggie was shot and killed in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. 

Spread Art NYC representatives did not immediately respond to request for comment.