The state of New York announced Thursday that it would contribute $3.7 million to the Universal Hip Hop Museum, a $80 million institution dedicated to the musical genre set to open in the Bronx in 2023.
Governor Andrew Cuomo officially signed off on the $3.7 million grant as part of a larger package of economic and community development funding statewide, CNN reports.
The Universal Hip Hop Museum, dubbed the first-ever museum dedicated to rap music, is currently operating as a pop-up exhibit in the Bronx Terminal Market ahead of its planned move to the newly developed Bronx Point in what is currently an empty parking lot off off the Major Deegan Expressway, News 12 Bronx writes. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2020.
Bronx-born Rocky Bucano serves as executive director of the Universal Hip-Hop Museum. “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.”
In 2018, the Universal Hip Hop Museum announced that Public Enemy’s Chuck D would serve as the chairman of the museum’s celebrity board, joining UHHM’s chairman of the board Kurtis Blow; UHMM cultural ambassadors include Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J, Grandmaster Flash and Fab Five Freddy.
“Hip-hop is possibly the last remaining DIY genre, and we need to bring it up to speed in its administration. I’ll hopefully be a magnet for others to offer their services and help build the museum into a vital space,” Chuck D said in December 2018. “The museum will be a solid base of recognition of the past. But it will also be involved in hip-hop’s [ongoing] definition, protecting it and making it viable for the future. The celebrity board’s role will be that of a collective with the energy of many helping to propel hip-hop well into the 21st century.”
@KurtisBlow1 was in the house yesterday to see his exhibit/tribute for the first time. He loved it!!!
— Universal Hip Hop Museum (@uhhmuseum) December 21, 2019