EntertainmentStacy M. Brown

Hip-Hop Goes Home to the Bronx with Star-Studded Ceremony for New Museum

Hip-hop started in the South Bronx, the hardscrabble borough in New York City, and on Thursday, some of the genre’s legends returned to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Universal Hip Hop Museum.

“Hip-hop is one of those things that really gave my life meaning,” LL Cool J, perhaps the greatest of them all, said during the ceremony that included Nas, Lil Kim, Fat Joe, Grandmaster Flash, Slick Rick, EMPD, Naughty By Nature and other superstars and trailblazers.

“It made me feel like I really could do something with my life,” LL Cool J explained.

The $349 million mixed-use project that will sit along the Harlem River waterfront promises a comprehensive history of hip-hop, which many claimed was just a fad. However, with talented artists such as Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizzard Theodore, Run-DMC, Public Enemy and Eric B. & Rakim, pundits could not have been more wrong.

Today, it’s rare to find a single or album atop the charts or winning significant awards if it doesn’t include some form of hip-hop. Universities have adopted lessons about the genre, and many of the artists said hip-hop provided them with street-level education and made them wise to many worldly subjects.

“It taught me more than schools taught me, believe it or not,” Nas said. “I’m proud to be here in the mecca of hip-hop, the Bronx.”

Rocky Bucano, the museum’s executive director, Kurtis Blow, Shawn “LG” Thomas, Grand Wizzard Theodore, Mickey Bentson, Joe Conzo Jr. and Grandmaster Melle Mel count among the museum’s founding members.

Dallas Austin, Marq Hawkins, DJ Ralph McDaniels, and National Newspaper Publishers Association President and CEO Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. make up the museum’s advisory board.

The development’s first phase also will provide 542 units of permanently affordable housing to the neighborhood and about 2.8 acres of public open space. The project will also have an array of cultural and community-focused programming, which includes the museum, an early childhood space, and outdoor science programming.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the capacity crowd at the groundbreaking, telling them what Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s smash single “The Message” meant to him.

At the same time, New York State Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie also paid homage to hip-hop.

“Hip-hop began in the Bronx, and it is only right that we pay homage by erecting the Universal Hip Hop Museum right here in our borough,” Heastie said. “Today’s groundbreaking marks a monumental moment in hip-hop history. Not only will this be a museum, but it will also become a cultural hub for all of New York City.”

Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Select list(s) to subscribe to


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker