By CHRISTO ELIOT
“And my whole crew is lounging
Celebrating every day, no more public housing
Thinking back to my one-room shack
Now my moms pimps a Ac with minks on her back”
– The Notorious B.I.G.
Christopher George Latore Wallace, who most of us know by the moniker The Notorious B.I.G., grew up in a single bedroom, subsidized housing project in the Brooklyn neighborhood, Bedford-Stuyvesant. Today the tree-lined streets of Bed-Stuy are wearing the after effects of gentrification, with renovated brownstones purchased largely by outsiders attracted by the affordability of houses in the area and a crime rate that has declined substantially since the days of of the late 20th century. In the 1980s, Bed-Stuy was struck with the same crack cocaine epidemic that plagued so many major American cities. Born in 1972, Biggie was 12 years old when he was swept into the trade and began to pedal the drug. Future undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world Mike Tyson grew up in the same streets and frequently fought with classmates and contemporaries who made fun of his lisp growing up.