The New York City Council last week unanimously voted to co-name streets in honor of three NYC music icons, Notorious B.I.G., the Wu-Tang Clan, and folk singer Woody Guthrie, Gothamist reported. If the bills are signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, the block in Brooklyn where B.I.G. grew up will be called Christopher Wallace Way, after the rapper’s birth name, Staten Island’s Vanderbilt Avenue and Targee Street will be known as the Wu-Tang Clan District, and Woodie Guthrie Way will be found on Mermaid Avenue, marking where the singer lived in Coney Island.
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S/O to the @wutangclan members that I got to connect with tonight @realghostfacekillah @ugod_zilla @methodmanofficial (not pictured) plus #Power, and share the developments of the #Wutangclandistrict in #Statenisland street co-naming efforts. Now that #ChristopherWallaceWay is advancing, hopefully #Wutangclan will get a street named too, more to come from #heterodoxxinc. S/O to the good people of #Shaolin, @cmdebirose, and @jimmykimmellive #kimmelinbrooklyn. #HipHopDontStop
Both Christopher Wallace Way and the Wu-Tang Clan District came as the result of an effort by music enthusiast and advocate LeRoy McCarthy, who first started lobbying for the name change in 2013. “I’m happy that NYC officials are finally giving the city’s indigenous ‘Hip Hop’ music the respect and recognition that it deserves,” McCarthy told 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 was also responsible for stenciling “Aretha” at the Franklin Avenue subway station in Brooklyn following the passing of Aretha Franklin in August. After his make-shift tribute, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority decided in September to add an official sign that reads “Respect” to the Franklin Street subway station in Manhattan, as a way to honor the singer’s legacy.
Each year, Council Members pass bills to co-name streets after significant residents and organizations that have had an impact on the city. The Council voted on 68 street co-namings last week, bringing the total number to 164 this year. Check out the co-named streets from 2017 and 2016 here.
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