“Celebrating every day, no more public housing,” rapped Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. Biggie Smalls, in the single “Juicy” from his debut album Ready to Die (four years before his actual death), “Thinking back on my one-room shack.”
Not so, says his mother, Volleta Wallace. “I heard I live in a shack!” Ms. Wallace told documentarian Nick Broomfield for his 2002 feature film, Biggie & Tupac. “I had a 7.5-room apartment.”
That shack/7.5-bedroom apartment, unit 3L at 226 St. James Place in Clinton Hill (“Bed-Stuy,” for those looking for a bit more street cred—it is close to what seems like the neighborhood’s ever-shifting border), is now up for sale. (The listing was first spotted by NY Mag.)
Seven-and-a-half rooms might be a bit of a stretch—we count three full bedrooms, a living and dining room, kitchen, closet-less study and a single bathroom spanning the length of the building—but a “one-room shack,” it isn’t.
Whatever you want to call it, for just $725,000, it can be all yours. (We were unable to reach Judith Siegel Lief of Sotheby’s, who’s listing the unit, to see if the sellers—one of whom is an elementary school teacher in Carroll Gardens—would accept payment in non-cash forms. By our calculations, about 10 kilograms of crack cocaine should do the trick.
The four-story limestone building also contains laundry in the basement. Along with, possibly, someone’s daughter—”Your daughter’s tied up in a Brooklyn basement,” the Notorious B.I.G. rapped in “Hypnotize.”
For some footage from the neighborhood during Biggie’s funeral, check out minute 14:05 of Nick Broomfield’s 2002 documentary. Ms. Wallace also discusses the apartment at 20:30.