Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced she secured $3 million in funding in the year-end omnibus package to go toward construction of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, which broke ground in the South Bronx in May 2021 and is slated to open in 2024. The omnibus is expected to pass Congress and be signed into law this week.
The Universal Hip Hop Museum aims to become a tourist hub honoring the genre’s influence over art, music, fashion, film, marketing and entertainment, celebrating the pioneers who built the culture, such as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, DJ Kool Herc, Run DMC and Notorious B.I.G. The funds attained by Senator Gillibrand will go toward helping support the interior fit out of the facility, which is currently under construction at Bronx Point in the “Boogie Down” borough.
“The Bronx has historically been a creative incubator for so many wonderful genres of music, ranging from doo-wop to salsa, but few genres have left a greater mark on mainstream culture than hip hop music,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “It is amazing to see that what started as a party in the basement of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue became a global phenomenon that spawned artistry and entrepreneurs like Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, and 50 Cent. With the 50th anniversary of hip hop right around the corner, I am proud to have secured funds to help the Universal Hip Hop Museum celebrate everything that is beautiful about hip hop culture.”
Located in the borough that give birth to the musical genre, the Universal Hip Hop Museum is the only state-chartered educational museum that is focused on the preserving the genre’s deep musical history and celebrating the 5 elements of hip hop’s culture: emceeing, DJing, breakdancing, graffiti art, and knowledge.
Transcending language, age, race, geographic, and socioeconomic barriers, hip hop has grown from “New York City” street music getting minimal radio play that gave a voice to the voiceless to topping the Billboard charts thanks to musical acts such as Drake, Nas, Kendrick Lamar and Lizzo, as well as influencing other genres ranging from pop music to R&B to heavy metal music.
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