Christopher Wallace, aka the Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, grew up in 226 St. James Place, Apartment 3L, …
... my whole crew is loungin'
Celebratin' every day, no more public housin'
Thinkin' back on my one-room shack ...
We used to fuss when the landlord dissed us
No heat, wonder why Christmas missed us
We're guessing this isn't quite what fans were imagining while they listened. (Click here or on any photo to go to a slideshow with even more pictures. Or you can click here to go to the property listing.)
The apartment where Christopher Wallace grew up, before he became known as Biggie Smalls or the Notorious B.I.G., has three bedrooms plus an office/den area in 972 square feet, and it was just listed at $725,000.
It's in what the listing calls a "lovely limestone eight-unit building," in the gentrifying area of Brooklyn that's now known as Clinton Hill, on the border with Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy).
The neighborhood has prospered enormously since his childhood -- but his mother, Voletta Wallace, acknowledged long ago that the late rapper was exercising some poetic license.
"To me, that's a part of an alter ego," she said in a 2002 documentary called "Tupac and Biggie." "That's the rags-to-riches person that he wants to sing about. ... I had a seven-and-a-half-room apartment. I heard I live in a shack. My son said it was his 'one-room shack.'"
Or, as the New York Daily News quotes from Cheo Hodari Coker's biography ("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. 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."
The current owners are "very lovable people," listing agent Judith Lief told New York magazine's Daily Intelligencer blog. One of them teaches at an elementary school, the New York Observer says. No word why they're selling, but Lief does say that tour buses stop by regularly.
If the place sells for the asking price, the owners stand to gain about $300,000; it last sold in 2004 for $425,000, according to omg!, Yahoo!'s celebrity news site. The unit has been renovated since then, but omg! suggests that the price miiiiiight reflect a premium for the celebrity history, noting that "another unit of similar size one floor up closed just last month for $575,000."
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