Jay Shells’ “Rap Quotes” laces LA


Artist, graphic designer and hip-hop head Jay Shells created red street signs engraved with lyrics from classic rap songs. The rap quotes are lines describing specific locations. Early last year, armed with screws and a stepping stool, Shells installed the signs at the exact sites described in the quotes. Animal New York filmed him driving around New York City putting them up and keeping it moving.  Shells curated some tasty treats like “I’m blacker than midnight on Broadway and Myrtle” by Mos Def, “Mathematics” or “Now 4th Street Park after dark is dangerous, might get clapped, if you look strange to us” by Heavy D, “Get Fresh Hev.” Other artists included Jay Z, Prodigy of Mobb Deep, and Big Daddy Kane.


In the latest episode, Animal New York  follow Shells hitting up Los Angeles. Artists’ quotes include Kendrick Lamar, Notorious B.I.G., Xzibit,  Warren G, and Snoop Dogg. Shells breezes through Compton and various streets like Lewis and 21st street to install signs. The project “Rap Quotes” celebrates dope lyrics, the locations that inspired them, and the neighborhoods that these rappers represented. Although it started off as a clever art project, Shells’ idea is taking on a greater significance. I’m guessing he’s plotting the next spot. Peep his Los Angeles and New York videos below.

Los Angeles

New York

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Images via  Animal New York

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