New York state governor, Andrew Cuomo, has officially signed off on a grant to help sponsor the impending construction of the first-ever museum dedicated solely to rap music.
The Universal Hip Hop Museum is slated to open its doors in the South Bronx (it’s birthplace) in 2023. It is seen as a profitable venture for the state, looking to bring in additional tax revenue, as well as plenty of tourists looking to learn about what is now the world’s most popular genre. As of right now, the museum currently operates as a pop-up exhibit in the Bronx Terminal Market until construction begins in 2020.
Bronx Native Rocky Bucano serves as the executive director of the board of trustees with hip-hop pioneer Kurtis Blow – whose 1980 single “The Breaks,” is recognized as hip-hop’s first ever gold record – is among the board of founding members while Public Enemy’s Chuck D, serves as the chairman of the celebrity board. “The credibility he brings to our team is mammoth,” Kurtis Blow says of Chuck D. “He also understands the importance of the UHHM and vows to let the world know via a star-studded celebrity board in the near future. Flame on!”
The likes of LL Cool J, Q Tip, Nas, Fab Five Freddie, and Rakim also serve as cultural ambassadors, according to the UHHM official website.
“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.”