A notorious past didn't block the way for big fans of Biggie Smalls to honor the late rapper.
On Wednesday night, the Brooklyn Community Board two gave the approval to co-name the block where the Notorious B.I.G. grew up Christopher Wallace Way, his real name.
"Honoring Biggie symbolizes more than just one man," said Leroy McCarthy, who led the petition. "It symbolizes a culture. It symbolizes a borough. It symbolizes a people, and hip hop is worldwide."
Leroy McCarthy spent five years leading the petition to co-name St. James Place between Fulton Street and Gates Avenue, where the celebrated rap legend grew up poor.
The proposition failed for so long because many community members opposed the rapper's often profane, violent and misogynistic lyrics.
"Those lyrics they might be kind of hard, but they're also part of the school of hard knocks, and they help people get through their day," said Julian Hill, a fan of the infamous rapper.
That same opposition was less pronounced this time around. Thirty-three members voted to approve, four abstained, and one voted no. The board member who voted no said she felt an earlier basketball court dedication in Bedford-Stuyvesant to the rapper was enough.
"The community and the people spoke and Christopher Wallace Way is on its way," Hill said.
Community approval included more than 1,000 signatures on an online petition, and the support of several local elected officials, including the borough president and City Council member Laurie Cumbo.
The hip hop icon was shot dead more than 20 years ago, but fans say his influence has withstood the test of time.
And fans say the lyrics to one of his most influential songs, "Juicy," symbolizes the power of hip hop.
"It discuss this man who came from nothing, came from negative, to doing everything positive. And that's what it's all about," Hill said.
McCarthy says the next step is to plan the dedication, and he expects the people of Brooklyn will come out in full force to celebrate.