Hip hop fans have a new victory to celebrate, ensuring an important way for future generations to remember and honor the culture's history and impact for years to come.
As reported, on Friday (Dec. 21), the New York City Council voted unanimously on a measure to honor three revered artists by way of naming streets in their respective honors. Due to the initiative finally being able to move forward, the Notorious B.I.G., the Wu-Tang Clan and Woody Guthrie will each be awarded with their own street names.
Per Gothamist, the Brooklyn block where Biggie grew up—St. James Place between Fulton Street and Gates Avenue—will be renamed Christopher Wallace Way after the rapper's government name. Additionally, Staten Island's Vanderbilt Avenue and Targee Street will soon be called the Wu-Tang Clan District.
The initiative has been a long time in the making and would not have been possible without the efforts of cultural advocate LeRoy McCarthy, who has been tirelessly petitioning for the city to rename the streets after the hip hop icons.
"I'm happy that NYC officials are finally giving the city's indigenous 'Hip Hop' music the respect and recognition that it deserves," McCarthy shared, speaking with Gothamist. "It took a long time and lots of hard work to advance the Christopher Wallace Way & Wu-Tang Clan District street co-naming, but ya know what, Hip Hop Don't Stop."
McCarthy previously worked to successfully get a street in Queens co-named for Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor of A Tribe Called Quest. He also was instrumental in the movement to recognize and honor the founder and CEO of Sugar Hill Records, Sylvia Robinson, with a renamed street in Englewood, N.J.
In addition to the veteran hip hop artists receiving their recognition, Coney Island's Mermaid Avenue between West 35th and West 36th will be renamed Woody Guthrie Way. The folk musician lived in that part of Brooklyn during the early 1940s.
The City Council's measures are technically still pending until Mayor Bill de Blasio gives his final approval and signs off on the initiatives.