Rappers from New York often drop rhymes about how they were born and bred in the city. Biggie Smalls slung many a line about Brooklyn, and Jay-Z wrote a whole damn song about it (his huge hit “Empire State of Mind,” in case you forgot. In fact, did you know that the name “Jay-Z” is based on the J-M-Z train line he grew up next to in Bed Stuy? New York is practically his whole persona). So it would make sense that a rap map, tracing where rappers dreamed of the big time throughout NYC would be interesting to look at. You can see where they were planted and understand the influences those areas of the city had on them.

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This map is also not about whether they were truly native New Yorkers (after all, Tupac is on there, and we all know where he eventually went), but whether they spent a long period of time there. The artist Very Small Array told Fast.co it was whether they spent significant amount of time there—the point at which we can assume the borough actually had an impact on their music and style.

Digging this rap map as much as we are? You can buy a poster of it for yourself right here.


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