A petition in favor of naming a street in Park Slope after a deceased rapper has quickly gathered 1,300 signatures and will be considered tonight by the transportation committee of Community Board 6. The petition, organized by Brooklyn resident Claudia Imperiale, calls for Degraw Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues to be named after Robert Diaz, who went by the stage name Pumpkinhead.
Diaz, who grew up in Park Slope and spent much of his youth on the stretch of Degraw Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues, was a staple of his community who like to represent Park Slope far and wide. “Robert used his talents and popularity to support local businesses, and he often participated in fundraisers for those in need. He was admired and highly respected by all who knew him,” the petition reads.
The petition’s organizer, Imperiale, told DNAInfo that since there’s “barely any original Park Slopers left in Park Slope,” it makes sense to honor a neighborhood native who became “an internationally known indie rapper.” Pumpkinhead regularly referenced Park Slope in his music, naming different streets and neighborhood fixtures in many of his songs.
If the street is eventually renamed after Diaz, who left behind two children and a pregnant wife when he died last June, it will require the approval of the full Community Board in addition to the City Council. The Community Board meeting, which is open to the public, takes place at 6:30 p.m. at Visitation Parish Chapel in Red Hook.
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