Hip-hop fans around the world mourned the passing of Brownsville, Brooklyn, rapper Sean Price last Saturday, but one New Yorker helped the Brooklyn community overcome their grief when he memorialized the MC on the corner of Brooklyn's Bergen Street and Kingston Avenue.
The day after Price, 43, died in his sleep, graffiti icon and 5 Pointz CEO Meres One took to work on a mural for the deceased rapper. "I didn't want it to linger on," Meres said. "I wanted to get busy."
Hundreds of people came out to watch Meres paint, and to pay tribute to the one-of-a-kind Price, whose self-deprecating tough guy persona (he often touted himself as "the brokest rapper you know") combined with a keen sense of comedic timing, made him a treasure to hip-hop fans.
And although Meres is no stranger to tribute murals, having previously memorialized Chinx Drugs, among others, he admits that it doesn't get easier.
"In such shock and emotion, you don't want to have a family member not like it. It's tough," Meres explained.
The pressure is high since oftentimes these murals become landmarks for family, friends and fans to mourn, a reminder of the deceased's legacy and a sign of their ongoing presence.
"His wife showed up and she seemed very happy and thankful," Meres said. "For me, the mural is me tipping my hat for everything [Price] has done for hip-hop. It gives people a way to pay their respect and say their proper goodbyes. It really shows the positive side of hip-hop."
Also appreciating the mural is turntablist and host of WNYU's "Halftime Show" DJ Eclipse. Eclipse, a longtime friend of Price's after the two toured together in 2008 and bonded over a shared love of Marvel Comics, said Meres' mural makes him "happy to know that people care enough to go out of their way to do something like that and capture accurately who he was. He was the same person with everyone he dealt with. He was just that dude."