New York City is showing its appreciation of hip-hop with limited edition MetroCards featuring four famous figures of the genre.
The cards are the result of a partnership between New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority and Universal Music Enterprises' Capitol Records. The cards are available on a first-come, first-served basis at specific subway stations connected to where the artists grew up.
The MTA is rolling the cards out in waves. The first of which — featuring LL Cool J and Pop Smoke — came out on Aug. 5.
The LL Cool J card can be found in Queens at the Forest Hills-71st Avenue station on the E, F, M and R subway lines. The version with Brooklyn-born rapper Pop Smoke is on sale at the Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway station on the L line, as well as at the New Lots Avenue station on the 3 line.
Forty thousand of these cards were rolled out in the first wave. An additional 40,000 will become available later this month and feature Long Island-native Rakim and Harlem-born Cam'ron.
"It's a celebration of the culture," said Shanifah Rieara, MTA's Chief Customer Officer.
According to Rieara, the four artists featured on the cards were selected by Capitol Records, with some input from the MTA.
"Some of the artists that we all celebrate were left out," Rieara said. "There was some back-and-forth to pick the four artists to really represent four out of the five boroughs."
New York native Jason Guerra is a lifelong LL Cool J fan and aspiring hip-hop artist.
"He never changes. He's been the same since day one. He grew up in hip-hop and he represents Queens to the fullest," Guerra said when asked about the MTA's decision to feature LL Cool J on the cards.
Guerra feels positively about the city's decision to celebrate Hip-Hop with these limited-edition collectible cards.
"I think it's a big thing," he added. "I think it's good. You need to entwine hip-hop with the city. It's in everything."