Christopher Wallace, aka The Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, once rapped, "Spread love, it's the Brooklyn way." Now, a Bed-Stuy grocery store is taking that to heart by honoring the late neighborhood resident with limited edition grocery store bags that feature his image.
Key Foods, located at 991 Fulton St. in Bed-Stuy, began selling 100 of the limited edition Biggie Bags yesterday on a first-come, first-served basis. The timing of the event honors the 20th anniversary of Biggie's murder on March 9th, 1997. This specific Key Foods location, which was formerly a Met Food Supermarket, employed Biggie as a teenager when he was growing up in the area.
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The paper bags themselves were designed by husband and wife team, and long time Bed-Stuy residents, Jed and Jennifer Heuer. According to the designers, who moved to Bed-Stuy in 2000, they created the bags as a tribute to Wallace and to honor the 20th anniversary of his passing. The "limited edition of custom-stenciled grocery bags were made for the family-owned grocery store to remember his legacy," Heuer posted on his website. He added, "This project is about paying respect to a legendary artist and sharing a piece of neighborhood history."
While this is certainly the most recent local effort to honor Biggie's legacy, images of the rapper, who famously reflected on eating sardines in his song "Juicy," can be seen throughout Bed-Stuy in multiple murals, along with another installation located outside the Michelin-starred Musket Room in SoHo, that have been painted in his honor. There are also plans for a six-foot-tall statue of the rap legend's face to be installed in the Putnam Triangle, down the street from where Biggie grew up.
Wallace was shot 20 years ago in Los Angeles, a case that is still open and unsolved. He was 24 years old. All of Bed-Stuy, along with Diddy and Sting, will be missing you, Biggie.