Nas Is A Living Legend & Now He’s Immortal In a Queensbridge Mural (Video)

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Earlier this month, residents of the Long Island City neighborhood awoke to a brand new mural in their midst, one celebrating the influence of a local icon. Nas, who grew up in nearby Queensbridge Houses, is now the face of an exceptionally detailed piece of street art, the kind of tribute usually reserved for MCs who have passed away. Located at the intersection of 40th Avenue and 21st Street, it’s the doing of Italian artist Jorit Agoch (who has also done a mural featuring Questlove) who took it upon himself to adorn a wall near Nas’s old stomping grounds in the form of a “Queensmatic” mural. Executed with the help of local artists Eli Eos, Lawrence “MYSE” Hosannah and Benny “FCEE” Guerra, it joins iconic New York City murals honoring Big L, Big Pun, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Sean Price, and others.

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In speaking with Mass Appeal, Agoch says “I always do portrait murals and I grew up in Hip-Hop culture, so it was natural for me do a portrait of a big rapper from New York, like Nas.” However, as Nas himself discussed on a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, he had no idea it was happening. “I got the call, and people were texting me pictures about it and it scared me,” he says. “Usually, when they put a mural of someone up in the neighborhood, he’s dead.” Nevertheless, he says, “it’s a huge honor, and I hope that the kids out there see me as an example. You can be somethin’ – it doesn’t matter where you’re from. If you have a dream, go after it.”

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Heads will notice the tribal scars on the MC’s face but also on nearly all of Agoch’s other works. The symbols have become part of his artistic calling card, meant to imbue a sense of unity within the human tribe. On his Instagram account, Agoch shares some close-up photography of the Nas mural to showcase the exceptional amount of detail put in to such a piece of art.