CHICAGO (CBS) — A young rapper who drowned two years ago will become the first Vietnamese American to have a street named in his honor in Chicago.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports John “Vietnam” Nguyen was a gifted hip-hop artist and poet known for his performances at “Louder Than A Bomb,” an annual youth poetry slam in Chicago.

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He also was known for his activism in the Uptown neighborhood, and next week, the 5000 block of North Winthrop Street will be named Honorary John “Vietnam” Nguyen Way.

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Nguyen is the first Vietnamese American to get such an honor. He’s also the youngest person to get an honorary street name, and the first hip-hop artist.

In the 19-year-old’s own words, he was about “peace, love, unity, and having fun.”

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He drowned in 2012 while trying to help save a friend who panicked while swimming in a lake in Madison, Wis., where he was attending college.