Where Did Biggie Smalls Grow Up?


Biggie Smalls spent the first 20 years of his life in a three-bedroom apartment at 226 St. James Place in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Clinton Hills, which back in the 90's was considered part of Bedford-Stuyvesant. The street Biggie grew up is known for its rows of historically intact mid-19th century rowhouses, while Clinton Hills neighborhood as a whole is a charming mixture of apartment buildings, mansions, brownstone and brick rowhouses like Biggie's building.

The ethnical makeup of the north-central Brooklyn neighborhood's 35,000 residents is diverse with 42% African-American, 36% White, 13% Latino and 5% Asian. If you want to visit Biggie's childhood home you can use the subway system and get on the IND Fulton Street Line's A and C trains. 



Back in 2013 Biggie's three-bedroom childhood home was up for sale with a listing price of $750,000. Not exactly a ''one-room shack'' as Biggie portrayed it as on his ''Juicy'' track.

Celebratin' every day, no more public housin'
Thinkin' back on my one-room shack

Hip-Hop biographer, Cheo Hodari Coker, details the living quarters in his book ''Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G.''

"Eleven days after his birth, Ms. Wallace took her son to the place that he would call home for the next 20 years," Coker wrote. "Theirs was a spacious apartment, with a large living room, a dining area, a study, and three bedrooms. The one opposite the kitchen on the far end of the hall was Christopher's."

Due to gentrification the old Clinton Hills neighborhood that Biggie grew up in during 70's and 80's would seem foreign to the rapper if he had the chance to see what it has become today, a refurbsihed middle- to upper-middle class neighborhood — and a apartment that is worth hundreds of thousands more than it would have been worth in the 1980s.

Alexander Ramalho