Last week the NY Times took a closer look at the role of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Notorious, the film documenting the life of Christopher Wallace. The movie is also an homage to the neighborhood, and the paper notes that "these very locations, inspired the frank rhymes that made him the Notorious B.I.G." Below is an old clip of Biggie in Bed-Stuy at age 17, allegedly it's from "his first public rap duel."
Producer of Notorious, Wayne Barrow said the more polished version of the neighborhood was still better than shooting in Hollywood, where he told the Times: "You’ve never really seen how we get down in Brooklyn. You don’t see how we hustle — not one hand-to-hand transaction, nothing.” The rapper grew up on St. James and Fulton during an era of rampant crime and drug deals, and while his local hang the Country House Diner on the corner of Fulton and Vanderbilt is still standing, other establishments have shuttered. NBC recently pointed out that a "coin laundry is now a plastic surgeon's office."