New York has awarded a $3.75 million state grant to help build the first museum in the world dedicated to hip-hop music and culture.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the grant Thursday.
Pegged to cost $80 million, the Universal Hip Hop Museum is scheduled to open in 2023 in South Bronx – the borough otherwise better known as the “Boogie Down” in old school hip-hop circles.
It is considered the birthplace of the genre.
At a temporary location in the Bronx Terminal Market, the Universal Hip Hop Museum, CNN reported is the “brainchild” of New Yorkers who had been on the hip-hop scene since its very inception.
“The museum is part of the renaissance of the Bronx. The Bronx is coming back,” said the museum’s director Rocky Bucano. “But the museum will be of the people and for the people.”
The museum, which has already received support from corporate partners like Microsoft and artistes like LL Cool J and Nas, would occupy 50,000 square feet in Bronx Point, the residential and retail project by L+M Development Partners that will be erected north of the 145th Street bridge along the Harlem River in the Bronx.
The official groundbreaking for the museum is set to happen over the summer, the New York Post reported.
According to Bucano, the project will generate tourism and tax revenues for Bronx and New York just as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame drives economic development in Cleveland.
He said the museum also received $6.5 million in funds from the city.
“We knew it was important because the Bronx is where hip-hop started,” Bucano told CNN. “It’s crazy to think of how hip-hop — which has such an influence on pop culture, advertising, politics — doesn’t have a place to call home.”
When completed the museum will showcase all aspects of hip-hop culture as well as the evolution from Grandmaster Flash in the late 1970s to Notorious B.I.G, Fat Joe, Tu Pac in the 1990s to the current rappers of today.
“We want to empower, inspire and engage the community,” said Bucano. “Hip-hop has touched every aspect of modern society and it’s important for the community to know that it was created by people who looked just like them.”
Meanwhile, Nashville’s National Museum of African American Music is set to open in 2020.
The museum will put up an exhibit to honor the endless African-American Music milestones achieved over the past centuries.