February 21st, 2019
Last year, news emerged that an official hip-hop museum was on its way in the very birthplace of the genre. It’s the perfect home for this kind of cultural institution – the genre originated in the South Bronx, which was home to African-American and Latino communities that shaped the sound of hip-hop.
Now, it looks like everything is official: As amNew York reports, construction on the museum is slated to begin in the South Bronx at 65 E. 149th Street this year, and it’s expected to be complete in 2023.
The museum is supposed to be high-tech – an intensive look at and celebration of local and global hip-hop culture. Already, the museum board includes powerful pioneers, with Public Enemy’s Chuck D as a board chairman and Kurtis Blow as a co-chair. Blow has said in interviews that he wants the museum to include hands-on, interactive experiences, including holograms, an imitation DJ booth, a recording studio, and a virtual graffiti station that will bring the story of hip-hop to life. The museum is also expected to display important artifacts from the history of the genre.
The museum building will be a 50,000 square-foot space taking up the first two floors of Bronx Point, a mixed-income housing development that is currently in the works. Bronx Point is part of a proposal process led by New York’s Economic Development Corporation, who said in an emailed statement to amNew York that they were “thrilled to provide a home for the hip-hop museum as part of the Bronx Point mixed-use development.”
“The museum will pay homage to the South Bronx’s rich culture and history as the birthplace of hip-hop. We’re excited to continue working with agency partners, project associates, and community stakeholders to bring it to life,” EDC said.
The museum plans to open its doors on the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop, and details about the new space have been posted on the institution’s website.