PARK SLOPE — The late underground rapper and Park Slope native Pumpkinhead will soon have a permanent memorial in the neighborhood.
The City Council on Friday approved the renaming of Degraw Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues for Robert Diaz, who performed under the name Pumpkinhead.
The renaming — technically called a "co-naming" by the city's Department of Transportation — was one of several approved Friday, the local blog One More Folded Sunset first reported. The council also gave the OK for a stretch of Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx to be dubbed "Hip-Hop Boulevard."
"We're just so happy," said Claudia Imperiale, a longtime friend of Diaz's who helped lead the effort to honor him. "The true hip-hop and the real hip-hop is being recognized as an important piece of our culture. It’s a true art and craft and people are recognizing it."
Diaz grew up in Park Slope and often mentioned the neighborhood in his lyrics, even though some in the rap world chuckled at his boastful references to the rapidly gentrifying area. He died suddenly at the age of 39 in 2015, leaving behind a pregnant wife and two young children.