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Arts and Entertainment

Photos: New Rap Quotes On Street Signs Popping Up In L.A.

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If you've been seeing rap lyrics emblazoned across red-and-white street signs all over L.A. lately, it's because of Jay Shells. The New York street artist (whose real name is Jason Shelowitz) is making his rounds through our city of angels, posting up new signs in time for his art exhibit that opens today at Gallery 1988.

In case you need a primer on his work, he puts site-specific rap lyrics on street signs and mounts them at the locations the lyrics are talking about. This time around, we're seeing quotes from the likes of Schoolboy Q, Drake and Ice T all throughout the city. He put up a total of 25 earlier this week and covered about 60 miles as far as Carson to Malibu. And we're pretty sure a good number of them have been snatched by Angelenos or taken down by authorities.

We last saw his signage pop up in L.A. in December and were stoked that he was giving the West Coast rap scene some love. He first launched his Rap Quotes project in early 2013 in New York.

At his art exhibit at Gallery 1988 East, which has an opening reception tonight starting at 7 p.m. and will be hosted by rapper Murs, Shells will be showcasing 100 Rap Quote signs and 100 accompanying photos of them. There will be 50 from each coast.

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"A framed photo will be beneath each sign showing the context which is paramount for this project," Shells tells LAist. "Without context, they are just lyrics on street signs."

And if other cities are feeling left out, Shells plans on taking his Rap Quotes project nationwide. He'll be heading to Philadelphia this summer, Atlanta, GA in October, and eventually making his way to Houston, Chicago, New Orleans and the Bay Area.

Shells doesn't ever plan to stop doing the Rap Quotes project because he's "having so much fun with it," he says. In fact, he'll be launching a website for it soon as well a mobile app.

Jay Shells' "Rap Quotes" exhibit will be on display at Gallery 1988 East from April 25 to May 17. There will be an opening reception on April 25 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Gallery 1988 East is located at 7021 Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood, (323) 424-3705.

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