Hip Hop royalty met in the South Bronx of New York City Thursday to break ground on the Universal Hip Hop Museum.
Nas, LL Cool J, Lil Kim, Fat Joe, Naughty by Nature, Grandmaster Flash, Chuck D from Public Enemy, Slick Rick, EMPD, and Michael Bivens from New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe were joined by city officials, including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
“Hip hop is one of those things that really gave my life meaning,” LL Cool J said, according to ABC affiliate WABC-TV. “It made me feel like I really could do something with my life.”
“It taught me more than schools taught me, believe it or not,” Nas added. “I’m proud to be here in the mecca of hip hop, the Bronx.”
In addition to the museum, the $349 million project will include 542 units of affordable housing, an early childhood center, and outdoor science programming.
For Grandmaster Flash, it was a landmark day.
“I came up with a technique by placing my fingertips on the records,” said the legendary rapper and DJ. “Here we are, almost 47 years later…Ladies and gentlemen, I tell you, this is a really special.”
Mayor de Blasio said, “We need to say that this history is our history. We did something here. You did something here no one else created.”
The mission of the Universal Hip Hop Museum is to celebrate and preserve the history of local and global Hip Hop to inspire, empower, and promote understanding. It’s scheduled to open in 2023.
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