Jay Shells takes rap lyrics back to its roots – quite literally

Posted by Holly Wilkins,

It’s widely known that New York City is the birthplace of hip-hop, but how much has been done to honour its rich history? From the likes of Big L, Jay-Z and the Wu-Tang Clan, Jay Shells has taken it upon himself to pay homage to these artists in a guerrilla style project, creating a series of signs displaying rap lyrics that specifically reference a street corner. Jay then proceeds to attach the official-looking signs to their correlating sign post.

Pretty freaky too that the street corner, 139 and Lenox Ave, Big L raps about being dangerous, is actually where he was shot four years later. Who knew? Well we do now, thanks to Jay.

  • Screen-shot-2013-04-02-at-14.03.48

    Jay Shells: The Rap Quotes

  • Screen-shot-2013-04-02-at-13.48.35

    Jay Shells: The Rap Quotes

  • Screen-shot-2013-04-02-at-14.36

    Jay Shells: The Rap Quotes

  • Screen-shot-2013-04-02-at-13.49.28

    Jay Shells: The Rap Quotes

  • Screen-shot-2013-04-02-at-13.51.22

    Jay Shells: The Rap Quotes

  • Screen-shot-2013-04-02-at-13.49.52

    Jay Shells: The Rap Quotes

Portrait17

Posted by Holly Wilkins

Holly worked with us as an editorial intern after studying at Leeds University and working in the PR industry in Los Angeles for a short period. She wrote for the site between March and May 2013.