History was made Friday, as the first-ever Universal Museum of Hip Hop has announced it will officially be built at 50 East 150th Street in none other than Bronx, NY – AKA The Bronx. Artists such as Grandmaster Flash, Slick Rick, Nas, Chuck D, LL Cool J, Chuck Chillout and Fat Joe came out in support of such a momentous occasion, along with New York City’s very own Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The project was originally scheduled open in 2023, but due to the global pandemic, that date has been set back to 2024. According to Brooklyn Vegan and a report from Gothamist, the Universal Museum of Hip Hop will be 52,000 square-feet and sit two miles away from the block on 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, which has recently been re-named to “Hip Hop Boulevard.”
A huge amount of funding for the museum is coming from the state of New York. Councilman Kevin Riley, who serves in New York City’s 12th District, took to Instagram to commemorate the museum for breaking ground and being the first of its kind.
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“For a young black boy from The Bronx, Hip Hop played a pivotal role in my life,” Councilman Riley said. “Times when I didn’t know how to express myself I would listen to lyricist @nas or @daveeast.”
Rocky Bucano is the executive director of the Universal Museum of Hip Hop. He has been trying to get this museum up-and-running for a decade now, so for him this is a very momentous occasion. “It’s been a long journey, but a very worthwhile journey to see what should have happened already is finally happening,” Bucano said “The museum represents the creativity and free expression that came out of this community and has now become the most powerful art form in the entire world.”
Photo Credit: Sharon Alanga