Long-gestating project looks to break ground in 2015.
New York’s first institution dedicated to hip-hop is coming to midtown and Harlem. The Hip Hop Hall of Fame Museum will feature memorabilia donated by artists like Run-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, OutKast, Young Jeezy, Common, Eminem, Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa.
The museum is being organized by JT Thompson, the producer of BET’s Hip Hop Hall of Fame Awards show in 1996 who has been trying to get the project a physical home since then. “This will be the home of hip hop history,” he said. “People need to understand the importance of hip hop, the elements, the DJs, the B-boys and B-girls and the graffiti writers.”
The museum will have two locations: a 12,000-square-foot space on 125th Street in Harlem, and a 50,000-square-foot space near Times Square. The project costs nearly $80 million, of which $50 million has already been raised. The goal is to break ground every year and open the museum to the public in 2017.
The location of the museum has been contentious: Afrika Bambaataa, Grand Wizzard Theodore, Grandmaster Melle Mel and Grandmaster Caz Brown had pushed for the museum to be based in the Bronx; organizers had eyed the Kingsbridge Armory, which will be turned into a national ice skating center in 2017. In addition, National Museum of Hip-Hop co-founder Craig Wilson is also looking to open a space in Harlem. [via NYDN]