Street Artist Jay Shells Paints Hip Hop-Inspired Mural in Brooklyn

The mural is located at the intersection of Broadway and Myrtle Ave. in Brooklyn Photo: Aymann Ismail via Animal

The street artist Jay Shells has painted a mural in Brooklyn featuring lyrics by the hip hop artist Mos Def, Complex Magazine reports. The mural is a continuation of Shells’ Rap Quotes project, in which he installed street signs with rap lyrics. In a video, Shells explains that the project “plots the…corners and very specific locations mentioned in rap songs.”

“I was always hoping that the street sign project would open the door for something more permanent,” Shells told Animal. “Although I realize it wouldn’t always be possible to do a wall or a plaque on the floor for every single [rap quote], I thought it would be great to get a good handful of them to be more permanent.”

The mural, located near the intersection of Broadway and Myrtle Avenue, says: “I’m blacker than midnight on Broadway and Myrtle,” referring to the location that Mos Def mentioned in his song Mathematics. “I have found that this is an interesting way to interact with the public, to get a message out and to hear back what the public is telling me,” Shells told Complex.

Shells first started attracting attention with his Subway Etiquette project, in which he put up screen prints and posters in New York City’s subway stations, trains, and platforms, urging New Yorkers to be respectful to each other while using the public transport network.

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