An interactive tribute sculpture of Biggie Smalls was unveiled in downtown Brooklyn on Wednesday as part of the borough's nod to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.
“It was Biggie who said the words that I live and lead by: ‘Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way,’” said Brooklyn Borough President, Antonio Reynoso. “Biggie knew that putting love in his lyrics meant everything from grieving in public to celebrating together; it meant talking about violence so we can finally end it and healing together as one people. His legacy is a challenge to us all to do better and do right by our neighbors, and I’m so happy to have the chance to honor him during hip hop’s 50th anniversary with this incredible sculpture for all of Brooklyn to enjoy.”
The public art piece, ‘Sky’s the Limit in the County of Kings’ by Sherwin Banfield, pays tribute to the life and legacy of Brooklyn’s hip-hop legend Christopher Wallace, also known as The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls.
The sculpture was first unveiled in November of 2022 at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge as part of the NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program.
The art piece was relocated and unveiled in downtown Brooklyn in Cadman Plaza on Aug. 2.
“The Notorious B.I.G.'s connection to downtown Brooklyn runs deep,” said Banfield. “Born and raised in Brooklyn, his poetry is peppered with mentions of his home town since his time attending downtown's George Westinghouse High School. ‘Spread Love, it's the Brooklyn Way’ is a clear stand out of his artistic legacy.”
The nine-foot, multi-media sculpture is made of bronze, stainless steel, winterstone and wood. It houses solar-powered speakers that play curated music by DJ Mister Cee.
“By immortalizing The Notorious B.I.G into a respected sculpture, we introduce to Brooklynites, New Yorkers and his millions of fans around the world a unique cultural opportunity to experience this tribute in B.I.G.'s Downtown Brooklyn while adding diverse representation in New York's public spaces,” Banfield said.
The sculpture’s music will be played live Monday to Saturday from 11:00am-6:00pm at its new location until November.
A number of community members and local officials gathered in Cadman Plaza to unveil the art piece on Wednesday. The event included performances by DJ itsParlé and Victory Music and Dance Company.
“This sculpture beautifully captures Biggie’s larger-than-life impact and legacy – for hip hop, for Brooklyn, and for all of New York City,” said NYC Parks commissioner Sue Donoghue. “Through his art, Biggie spread love, represented his neighborhood and his community, and influenced generations of musicians and artists across the world. I’m grateful to Sherwin Banfield for crafting such an innovative and unique tribute to this Brooklyn legend.”
The public art installation has been made possible by the BRIC, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Dumbo Improvement District and NYC Parks.
“This is such an incredible tribute to a Brooklyn icon,” said Alexandria Sica, executive director of the Dumbo Improvement District. “We are so happy to be able to share this work with the whole borough.”
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