An emotional moment for a hip-hop pioneer. Legendary DJ and rapper Grandmaster Flash reflected on how far hip-hop has come. He started spinning vinyls on the streets of the Bronx nearly 50 years ago,
“A lot of times, legends don’t get a chance to see their work in full fruition, I thank Almighty God and I thank all you hip hoppers for allowing me to see this thing we did from nothing to now,” said Grandmaster Flash.
Rap royalty came together for the Universal Hip Hop Museum groundbreaking Thursday.
“It made me dream. You know what I’m saying? Hip-hop made me believe anything was possible,” said LL Cool J.
“And it taught me more than schools taught me, believe it or not. I’m proud to be here in the Mecca of hip-hop, the Bronx,” said Nas.
“This hip-hop music came out of oppression. It came out of people suffering. It came out of the Bronx looking like Vietnam. The buildings was blowing up. And people had to make something out of nothing,” said Fat Joe.
The 52,000-square-foot museum is set to include a 300-seat theatre for performances and demonstrations. It will be on the ground floor of Bronx Point, a $349 million development along the Harlem River, set to include affordable housing and 2.8 acres of public open space.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. allocated $4.2 million from his budget to support the museum’s capital campaign.
The museum’s goal is to preserve hip-hop culture and history. It’s said that hip-hop’s birth happened at a Bronx party inside a building on Sedgwick Avenue in 1973.
“And now, ladies and gentlemen, it is global. Hip-hop is the number one genre of music on the entire planet,” Diaz saide.
“We came up with universal because we want this museum to represent the entire world of hip-hop,” said Rocky Bucano, the executive director of the Universal Hip Hop Museum.
Initially, organizers hoped the museum would open in time for hip-hop’s 50th anniversary in 2023, but the pandemic pushed back the construction. The museum is now set to open in 2024.