YOU MUST LEARN are three words synonymous with KRS-ONE. There’s a lot to learn about rap as it continues to age, gracefully. Movies like The Art of Rap teach those lessons. Yet when you’re not wired to the web, or trying to soak up every hip-hop special on VH1, just look out your window like KRS did, sans automatic weapon. You might be overlooking a hip-hop monument. We at UPNORTHTRIPS.com go about hip-hop the same way: living and breathing rap’s museum of photography, and classic recordings, just to name a few. Today, we begin a recurring feature on great rap (and graffiti) monuments, just by putting in their coordinates on Google Maps.
In this edition, we’re crossing the five boroughs—Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Some of these painted tributes have been immortalized in music videos. But stop for a moment, because for those outside New York, these NYC Hip-Hop landmarks are as close as some foreigners get to the ‘hoods rappers reference on wax. Somewhere out there, a cat from Czechoslovakia wants to slam dance in front of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s mural, that replicates the Return to the 36 Chambers album cover. How is he or she supposed to sidle up to these points? Drop the pin, and start your five borough NYC Hip-Hop tour here.