Mural tribute to Prodigy vandalized twice

- As one-half of Mobb Deep, Albert "Prodigy" Johnson's raw gritty lyrics about street life made him one of the most influential rappers of all time. Prodigy died June 20 due to complications from sickle cell anemia.

On July 2, two artists -- Jeff Henriquez and Eli Lazare, also the project's curator -- set out to immortalize him by painting a mural across the street from the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, where Mobb Deep spent a lot of their time.

But this weekend, not even 24 hours after the mural was completed, someone vandalized it with white paint. Then after it was fixed, it got defaced again with red paint.

The mural was at 13th Street and 40th Avenue on the wall of Urban Upbound, a nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty. Bishop Mitchell Taylor, the co-founder of Urban Upbound, said the vandals left them no choice but to paint over the mural on Sunday.

"The entire thing was positive," artist Henriquez said. "It felt better to me doing it the second time then the first time, I enjoyed it more, because people came out of their way to support us."

Paint is on the ground from where the mural was vandalized twice. Officials with Urban Upbound said it had to be painted over due to safety reasons.

Taylor said he was afraid that if they kept the mural that someone might throw a brick through the window.

Who or why it was defaced is still unclear.

Prodigy's mural may be gone but his legacy remains.

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