Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Hip-Hop Map of New York City

As should be obvious, we moved to New York because it's the birthplace of hip-hop. (There may have been other factors.)

So I was thrilled to see this New York map showing the neighborhood origins of rappers (discovered via the Boing Boing site).

What's great about New York is no matter which borough you live in, there's a wealth of great location-specific lyrics to quote. Even Staten Island can enjoy in this rich legacy, thanks to the Wu-Tang Clan (though they refer to the borough as "Shaolin").

A sampling:
"Uptown is the place where I lay my dome, on the streets of the Bronx where my family roam."

"Spread love, it's the Brooklyn way."

"How you doin', Miss. My name is L, I'm from Queens." 
"[Fellaz] know, we go against a Harlem jigalo."

"Where my Shaolin peoples at? Stapleton, the craziest, y'all know what time it is."
I have yet to visit Staten Island/Shaolin, so I cannot corroborate that Stapleton is indeed the craziest.

Getting back to the map, I wonder about the inclusion of Tupac in Manhattan. Though he was born in East Harlem, he's so strongly associated with the Bay Area, it just feels wrong (almost as if someone accused me of being from Massachusetts).

Roosevelt Island, meanwhile, is conspicuously absent as a rapper birthplace. Clearly, our unborn daughter is destined to right this wrong.