The “Biggie Smalls” Bookcase Honors The Late Rapper And The Legacy Of Hip-Hop Literature

Elijah C. Watson Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When…
The "Biggie Smalls" Bookcase Honors The Late Rapper And The Legacy Of Hip-Hop Literature
Screengrab via Okayplayer

The bookcase dedicated to the late Biggie Smalls resides in the Clinton Hill Library.

There are many markers dedicated to the late Notorious B.I.G. in New York City: a playground, a street, and now, a bookcase that resides in the Clinton Hill Library — the Brooklyn neighborhood Biggie Smalls was born and raised in.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the country into quarantine, the Clinton Hill Library celebrated its Christopher Wallace “Biggie Smalls” Bookcase Project. Named after the famed Brooklyn rapper, the bookcase will highlight materials on hip-hop, graffiti, Brooklyn and music history. The project was initiated by LeRoy McCarthy through his company Heterodoxx Inc., and local artist Vincent Ballentine. McCarthy was also behind the Christopher Wallace Way street dedication that took place two years ago.

“New York City has a multi-faceted existence in art and culture but, hip-hop is from here. Hip-hop is from these streets.” McCarthy said. “And so, it’s very important to me to have that honored with Christopher Wallace Way.”

As for the bookcase named in Biggie’s honor, McCarthy said: “This is an opportunity to connect the art and culture with literature. Bringing back literacy to this library in terms of hip-hop is an opportunity to share his vast vocabulary, which contributed to his greatness as an artist.”

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