Nas' Historic Hip Hop Monument
Most hip hop fans are well aware that Nas helped to shape the genre with his iconic debut album "Illmatic." What you may not know, though, is that he also transformed the largest public housing development in the country into a landmark.
Complex magazine explained that in "Illmatic," the rapper offers a detailed glimpse into his urban upbringing in Long Island City and by doing so, he transformed the projects he was raised in into a "place of hip-hop folklore." The Queensbridge Houses, a sprawling set of buildings that nearly 7,000 people call home, is where Nas learned everything he knew - and it's where he became the rapper he is today.
"I always say my environment wrote that album," Nas told Zane Lowe at BBC Radio. "I was just an instrument in the middle. New York wrote that album - Queensbridge, specifically."
According to New York Daily News, the residents and artists that live in the the Queensbridge Houses have a lot of respect for how Nas hasn't forgotten his roots. They said that the rapper still visits the neighborhood for barbecues and basketball tournaments.
If you made it big, what would you do for your community?