New York is finally set to build a hip-hop museum in the Bronx

Nas and LL Cool J are reportedly on board

The state of New York has been awarded a $3.5 million capital grant to help build the world’s first hip-hop museum, US Governer Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday (December 18).

The $80 million Universal Hip Hop Museum is scheduled to open in the South Bronx in 2023. The borough, also known as the “Boogie Down” Bronx, is considered by many to be the birthplace of hip-hop.

The museum already has corporate partners including Microsoft and MIT, as well as support from rappers including Nas and LL Cool J, according to reports from the New York Post.

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It’s not the first time a hip-hop museum has been announced for the city. Plans were originally announced back in 2006, while Afrika Bambaata talked about opening one in 2012, and a museum in Manhattan was scheduled to open in 2018. However, the funding grant for the new project seems to add weight to the idea that this one could really be happening.

Organisers are hoping the museum, to be erected in the Bronx Point development, will generate tourism and tax revenues for the Bronx and New York, said the museum’s director, Rocky Bucano.

“The museum is part of the renaissance of the Bronx. The Bronx is coming back,” Bucano said. “But the museum will be of the people and for the people.”

The Universal Hip Hop Museum will 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.

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The development’s official groundbreaking is set to happen over the summer.

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