11th Oct2017

Dapper Dan & A$AP Ferg: New Yorkers That Brought Harlem to the World

by @Djordje

The New Yorker’s version of the American Dream is only slightly different than the overarching ideal of owning a house that your family can pass down from generation to generation. The city has long praised the self-made individual, whether it’s a hustler who goes legit after a few brushes with the law, or the street-smart smooth talker who works his or her way up from the bottom of the ladder to the corner office.

Daniel Day, better known as Dapper Dan, occupies a space between those two archetypes. He grew up in Harlem, on 129th Street and Lexington, in humble means. He went to an elementary school three blocks away from where poet Langston Hughes lived. Whenever his mom won some money from scratch-offs, she’d treat him to a new pair of shoes. Soon, he was taking matters into his own hands, running the streets and shoplifting with a crew that included Richard “Pee Wee” Kirkland, who would go on to become a street ball legend.

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