There was a collective feeling of disgust across the Hip Hop community after a mural of late rapper Prodigy by artists Jeff Henriquez and Eli Lazare was defaced earlier in July. Being damaged a second time, though — less than 24 hours after a 13-hour refacing — led to the mural being painted over permanently, leaving fans to wonder who would carry out such a disrespectful act.
A real shame, not 24 hours and this. The #prodigy tribute mural by @jeffhenriquezart_ and @elementsofstyle_nyc was destroyed overnight. All that work and a community that was really behind this mural. It's very sad. #iphoneonly #iphonephoto #streetart #streetartnyc #outdoorart #publicart #nexus_streetart #nexus_army #dsb_graff #rsa_graffiti #tv_streetart #nexus_graffiti #ig_graffiti #streetartandgraffiti #urbanart #artinthestreets #streetphotography #dopeshotbro #be_one_urbanart #total_urbanart
A recent interview with Mike Delorean, who was half of Bars-N-Hooks — a group originally signed to P’s Infamous Records imprint — suggests that the defacement was personal, and a direct reflection of the strained relationships the 42-year-old rapper who assimilated into the Queensbridge fold as a young teen had within the notorious community.
Delorean had friction with the rapper in the past, due to fallout from the label situation, as well as statements Prodigy made in his book, “My Infamous Life.”
“He scarred some people personally,” said Delorean in an interview with Gully TV CEO Jamil Lindsey. “He talked badly about people … people in jail. People who embraced him.” When Lindsey then clarified, “[Prodigy] disrespected dead and incarcerated Queensbridge natives — is that why the mural can’t exist on the Queensbridge property?” Delorean bluntly responded, “Yes.”
Delorean did offer that the defacing wasn’t a show of disrespect for P’s “legacy” within the culture of Hip Hop — or his fans. “[The mural] just can’t exist in Queensbridge where the people he disrespected have kids that will see it every day.”
“I still have pictures up, because I respect him as a legend,” Delorean states at the end of the interview. “There are things he showed me that nobody could take from me.”