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Notorious B.I.G. Mural in NY Causes Rift Between Artists

Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images

Even after death, rapper Notorious B.I.G. is causing a ruckus, but not because of his rhymes. The Brooklyn rhymer’s image is what’s causing controversy in the same New York borough he was raised in.

Sean Meenan, owner of Habana Outpost, a solar-powered restaurant in Brooklyn, commissioned a mural of the ‘Life After Death’ rhymer that merged his face with a famous painting of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. However, the final result doesn’t give credit to the man who designed the original creation, 21-year-old Parsons: The New School for Design student John Garcia.

“It’s frustrating, because I literally laid out everything on the wall,” Garcia told The Brooklyn Paper. “They didn’t mention me [on the wall of the mural] and they said in the future in they would.”

The only name cited on the Biggie mural is Meenan’s website, seanmeenan.com, despite graffiti artists like Cern One and Lee Quinones having painted the artwork and their names appearing nowhere on the piece.

“It pays tribute to the neighborhood and the legacy of Biggie Smalls and has the revolutionary atmosphere of Che Guevara in the ’50s and ’60s,” Quinones told the New York Times last month.

As far as who should be credited on the mural, Quinones believes Garcia shouldn’t be given the spotlight at all. “The names that should be on the wall are the ones who painted it — myself and Cern,” he stated.

To get a closer look at the Biggie Smalls tribute mural, head to S. Portland and Fulton streets in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Watch Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Big Poppa’

Watch ‘The Notorious B.I.G. Biography’

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