3 murals in Canarsie to honor slain rapper Pop Smoke

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Three new murals are going up in Canarsie to honor Pop Smoke, a Brooklyn rapper who was killed in Los Angeles Feb.19 at the age of 20.

The first piece is being put up at 82nd Street and Flatlands Avenue. He meant a lot to this neighborhood, many said, and artists wanted to recognize his impact.

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The young rapper, known for his hits “Welcome to the Party” and “Dior,” was shot in what investigators are calling a home invasion at a rented Los Angeles home.

He grew up in Canarsie, and many of his friends still live in the area. As soon as community members learned of his death, they brainstormed ideas of how they could honor him. And they decided one way to do it was through art.

“It will just teach people that you got to cherish these things because tomorrow is not promised and you don’t know what could happen tomorrow,” said Sean, a friend of Pop Smoke’s. “So you’ve got to embrace the people that you're around all the time, the people that you love and care for.”

Artists started working on the murals Sunday night. After putting up the first mural on 82nd Street and Flatlands Avenue, the plan is to put another one up on 80th Street and Flatlands and then another one at VIP Pro Audio Inc. on Rockaway Parkway and Conklin Avenue.

Those behind this project are saying that this was the only way they could see fit to honor a man who put Canarsie on the map.

“We feel like we lost a son with Pop and what we want to do is, we want to make sure we put something here that the world can come see and remember who he was,” said mural curator Ronald Blake.

There’s no set date for completion and artists don’t want to give away the final look, but organizers say they plan to put all the art up as fast as possible.

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