Harlem’s been making a serious comeback over the past year or so. Between A$AP and Azealia, it seems like all the hot talent is simply popping out of a portal somewhere in that area north of 125th street. At the same time as Dipset’s stomping grounds are enjoying more cultural attention, they’re getting a facelift, too: gentrification is slowly making its presence known, as Columbia University expands northwards and real estate prices rise. In his new clip for “Harlem Roses,” Harlem native and respected MC Vinny Cha$e explores the changing landscape of his neighborhood, re-visiting landmarks like the Apollo and the Lenox Lounge alongside familiar stoops and storefronts. “A few years ago, growing up in Harlem, I could never imagine that there’d be luxury building here,” he says. “Why the fuck would you put a 2 million dollar penthouse down the street?” Forget the luxe caviar and two-million-dollar views: Cha$e and the rest of the Cheers Club would rather kick it at the luncheonette down the street, a safe haven in a sea of change.
• Vinny Cha$e: http://cheersclubmusic.tumblr.com