BY ANGELA MATUA
A mural to honor the late rap-per
Prodigy — one-half of the
rap group Mobb Deep — in
Long Island City was officially
painted over after it was defaced twice,
but organizers are looking to turn the un-fortunate
event into a community project.
Artists Jeff Henriquez and Eli Lazare
recently painted a mural of the rapper near
the Queensbridge Houses, where Mobb
Deep spent much of their time. The mural
stood at 13th Street and 40th Avenue on
the wall of Urban Upbound, a nonprofit
that is “dedicated to breaking cycles of
poverty in New York City public housing
and other low-income neighborhoods.”
But just two days later, white paint
was splattered all over the mural. Though
Henriquez restored it, the perpetrator
struck again on July 10 and poured
red paint over the mural. The artists
eventually decided to paint over it to
stop the vandalism.
22 JULY 2017 I LIC COURIER I www.qns.com
According to Bishop Mitchell G.
Taylor, the co-founder and CEO of
Urban Upbound, the vandal destroyed
the nonprofit’s awning and sidewalk.
Though the organization tried remov-ing
the paint, it is forced to purchase
a new awning.
“I feel horrible about the fact that a
tribute we erected to honor, acknowl-edge
and highlight the artistry of Prodigy,
who was a tremendous writer and rapper
and did a lot of work in our community
was defaced,” Taylor said.
Urban Upbound has decided to start
a fundraiser to provide the artists with a
stipend that would allow them to design
and paint another mural, this time with
the help of children and young adults
in the community. The organization is
looking to raise $20,000, which will
cover a stipend for the artists of the
new mural; money for a new awning;
and repairs to the sidewalk.
As soon as the organization can raise
enough money, the artists will start work-ing
on “a mural that the community
Photo courtesy of Jeff Henriquez