Nas Honored With Mural In Queensbridge For ‘Illmatic’s 30th Anniversary – Gets ‘Nas Day’

A new mural was unveiled on Apr. 19 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Illmatic,” the breakthrough album by rap legend Nas. Located across from the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, where Nas was raised, the mural honors his seminal work.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards was on hand and noted he was just 11 years old when Nas “changed the game” during hip-hop’s golden era in New York in the 1990s.

“I know the Bronx always talks about, no offense to anybody in the Bronx, that they created hip hop, but we can say Queens perfected it and that is because of Nas, who continues to do so much for this community,” Richards said.

To help commemorate the anniversary, Queens graffiti artists Eli Lazare Salome-Diaz and Benny “FCEE” Guerra painted a large-scale mural of the classic album’s cover, featuring an adolescent Nas with Queensbridge in the background. The mural is titled “ILLMATIC30” and it is the second time Salome-Diaz has done a Nas mural in the neighborhood.

“I want this to serve as an inspiration, especially to the next generation of kids, adults, whichever walks of life, just to let them know that this is no fictional story, no Hollywood story, this was the real deal,” Salome-Diaz said.

Corrine Hayes, president of the resident association for Queensbridge Houses noted that Nas has never forgotten his roots.

“He pours into our community every year via the camping trip and the toy drive that happens every year in Queensbridge for the kids. He’s never stopped supporting,” Hayes said. “He’s always supporting continuously, so let’s continue to honor him for all the great things he does.”

Richards proclaimed Sept. 23 as Nas Day in Queens.

“Nas has been a pioneer, he has been a philanthropist, had done so much to put QB on the map and also give us the soundtrack on how to make it through the jungle, the concrete jungle,” Richards said.

“We’re going to continue to see more kids from QB walk down here to grab their bagel or their bacon, egg and cheese, going to Urban Upbound for some services and keep it illmatic and see an inspiration, see what they can become, they can dream to be bigger, be the next Nas or bigger than Nas.” S: Queens Post News