There is a new generation of politicians in New York City and they are not afraid to battle it out Hip-Hop style with a little borough slick talk.
This was on full blast last week after the Gen Xers in the office of borough presidents got mixy about whose borough has the more popping Hip-Hop lineage.
It started after the Department of Transportation aimed to change the name of past BP Ruben Diaz, Jr. to the new one and got it wrong. Instead of putting Vanessa Gibson, the actual borough president, under Mayor Eric Adams’ name on the “Welcome to the Bronx” sign on Hutchinson River Parkway, they put the Queens BP, Donovan Richards.
Dean Meminger from Spectrum News’ NY1 first pointed it out.
“Battle of the Boroughs. Oh No! #NYC @nyc_dot gets boro president wrong on Welcome to The #Bronx sign on the BX side of Whitestone Bridge. Vanessa Gibson is the BXBP, Donovan Richards is the QueensBP. Oops! @QnsBPRichards @Vanessalgibson now claim their respective boro is the best.”
Then the swift Queens native hopped in like 50 Cent, a hip-hop hero from his borough, and started to troll.
“Being the president of by far the best borough in New York City comes with an understanding that everyone always has Queens on their mind,” Richards joked. “The Bronx and Borough President Gibson deserve their due as well, so I will happily cede this space and work with DOT to ensure that happens.”
Gibson, he repped for the womanists, said, “Sorry I’m late to the chat. I was too busy being the BP that represents the best borough and the REAL birthplace of Hip-Hop. What did I miss?”
And Richards replied, “The Bronx might be the birthplace of hip-hop, @bronxbp, but we all know #Queens perfected it. Nas, LL Cool J, A Tribe Called Quest, shall we go on?”
“Hm… @fatjoe and @RealRemyMa might have to disagree. Also, last time I checked the @uhhmuseum was going to be where? #JustSaying All love to all of our hip-hop legends though”
“The Bronx has big stars, no doubt, but #Queens is home to hip-hop legends, pioneers and trailblazers. All love is right, though! Plus, I think we can both agree that the outerboroughs are the best boroughs”
“I could not agree more, and I look forward to working with you colleague in bringing much needed attention and recognition to our boroughs. All love always! #Bronx #Queens #Outerboroughs”
And just as you thought it was over … here comes Brooklyn! Antonio Reynoso, the new Brooklyn BP replacing Eric Adams, the new mayor, came through with his shut down.
“Biggie Big Daddy Kane Hov Need I say more? Brooklyn keeps on taking it,” he tweeted.
Queens might have the edge on cool though. Hip-Hop is not just about being put in place, but by people who put in work and it seems like Richards might have an edge on them — getting as close to rap culture as Diaz did for years.
Back in the day, before getting into public service, Richards was an intern for Chris Lighty and Mona Scott-Young at Violator Records, a label that had the best rappers from both boroughs (LL Cool J, Fat Joe, Mobb Deep, A Tribe Called Quest and more). Check him out saluting his mentor at a recent event at the Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx. Perhaps it is an #OutboroughThing