A History of Rappers With Streets Named After Them
Believe it or not but very little rappers have had success when it comes to getting streets named after them. Many have tried over the years only to be denied and their legacy left short-handed. Run-D.M.C. was the first group of rappers to be bestowed the honor in 2009 when the corner of 205th Street and Hollis Avenue was renamed Run-DMC JMJ Way. Since then, hip-hop has had very little luck in this category until now.
In 2010, Big Pun's family tried to get a street in the Bronx's Longwood neighborhood renamed after the late rapper—an initiative that had been pushed since 2000. After their actions had yet to materialize, the Latino rapper's kin gave Big Pun Place another shot a year later. They held a rally and amassed over 2,000 signatures in 2011. In 2014, a fan took matters into their own hands by putting up a faux street sign on the 14th anniversary of Pun's Death. The city removed the sign shortly after.
In 2013, community members rejected the idea of naming a street after the Notorious B.I.G. in Brooklyn. A petition amassed over 3,000 signatures but the community board felt that the rapper did not lead a lifestyle that should be glorified. A Manhattan community board also decided they would not rename the intersection Ludlow and Rivington Beastie Boys Square in 2014.However, after his death in June of 2015, underground rapper Pumpkinhead was honored in a major way when Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced that a street in Brooklyn would be named Robert PH Diaz Way—the respected underground MC's birth name.
Following Phife Dawg's death, a petition was also launched to co-name Linden Boulevard in Queens, between 192nd and 193rd street, A Tribe Called Quest Boulevard. By August of 2016, plans to move forward with the street now named Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor Way made headlines. The street honoring the late rapper is set to be unveiled on Nov. 19 in St. Albans, Queens.
Check out rappers who have successfully gotten streets named after them and others who haven't in the gallery above.