As legendary rappers have begun to trickle into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame these past few years, the same can be said about rappers having streets named after them. It all started with Run-DMC in Queens back in 2009. The corner of 205th Street and Hollis Avenue in Hollis, Queens was renamed Run-DMC JMJ Way in honor of the group’s member Jam Master Jay. Ever since then, street names have become one of the most cherished ways for a hometown to honor its homegrown talent.
Other rappers who have passed away have been honored as well. The Notorious B.I.G. received a street named after him in Brooklyn. In 2019, the corner of Fulton Street and St. James Place was renamed Christopher Wallace Way in celebration of the late rap legend. More specifically, there have been streets renamed in support of Hip Hop 50. Most recently, Tupac Shakur received a street with his name. Tupac Shakur Way is now in Oakland, Calif., which was done in November of this year. The sign arrives 27 years after his death.
“It’s a moment that I know my brother would be proud of,” said Tupac’s sister, Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur, at the ceremony. “Establishing love and peace in the Oakland community especially mattered to him. Being able to represent safety to his people mattered to him…Let his spirit live on the rest of these years in these streets and in your hearts.”
Since rappers advocate for their hometown so strongly, being bestowed with their own street name remains one of the highest honors. See a few of the biggest rappers to get streets named after them below, including Missy Elliott, Big Pun and Nipsey Hussle and more.