Classic Hip Hop Covers Covered in Google Maps

Classic Hip Hop Covers Covered in Google Maps

We love when people find new ways to mesh Hip Hop with, well basically anything. A few years back when Jason Shelowitz aka JayShells put up street signs highlighting actual locations mentioned in rap songs via TheRapQuotes campaign it was a dope refreshing way to experience lyrics you may have, as a Hip Hop fan, glossed over without much thought. 

Lines like

photo credit @therapquotes


photo credit @Therapquotes

were brought to life in a different sense. 

Needless to say these signs, or any of the other 200 plus signs put up around New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Philly since he started didn't last more than a week at their locations. Surely this would be a nice souvenir for any fan of the art. See more about the Rap Quotes project below.

"Rap Quotes" Street Art Project by Jay Shells from on Vimeo.

In a similar vein Mass Appeal put together a little project showing on google maps where classic Hip Hop album covers were shot. So if you weren't able to hit up Putnam avenue and Franklin to scoop up a GZA quotable you can easily punch in an address on maps and see Rap history unfold on your browser. Here are some of the Covers Mass Appeal synced up. 


Cover Art: Glen E. Friedman 

Ladies Love Cool James took the photo for this album cover at his old stomping grounds Andrew Jackson High School in Queens, NY.

Cover Art: Alison Dyer

The Benjamin Franklin Bridge was the location for The Roots 'Do You Want More?!!??!' Album cover. 

Cover Art: Jonathan Mannion

Jay-z's 'Life and Times Vol. 3' cover was shot on 46th st. and 6th ave. 

Cover Art: Danny Clinch

A young Nasir Jones framed by the Queensbridge houses buildings at 10th st. and 40th Ave frame the iconic Illmatic album cover.  

Cover Art: Danny Clinch

Lefrak City in Queens looms large in the background for N.O.R.E's second album cover. 

Cover Art: Danny Clinch 

Big L posed for this cover at 103 w 139th Street in Harlem, NY. 

Cover Art: Dan Monick

The Hyperion Ave. Underpass in Los Angeles serves as the backdrop for Murs' first album with 9th Wonder.

Cover Art: Mario Castellanos 

Cubes first album post N.W.A. was shot near 1019 S Broadway Street, Los Angeles

This homage to cover art reminds me of a time when opening an album you'd be eager to go through the liner notes to get a sense of the artist's frame of mind while recording the album. In the digital era cover art has understandably lost some significance with the picking and choosing of your musical experience track by track rather than hearing an album in its entirety, but with projects like this maybe we can find a happy medium bringing back the visual aspect of the picture painted by words and a beat.

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  • Derek Wiggins
    Derek Wiggins January 4, 2016

    this is crazy