A first look at the Universal Hip Hop Museum coming to NYC in 2023

The museum is doing a 3D tour of its interiors this week.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
Editor, Time Out New York

With just two years to go until it opens in the South Bronx, the Universal Hip Hop Museum is launching its $100 million capital campaign to raise funds for its interiors this week. 

At 2pm on Wednesday, the museum, which currently operates out of Bronx Terminal Market, will take the public on a 3D virtual tour of the new museum and hear from radio host Barbara “Roxie” Delaleu, UHHM's founder and executive director Rocky Bucano, Civil Rights icon Dr. Benjamin Chavis, DJ Spark of iHeart Radio, and Chair of the Capital Campaign and UHHM Chief Strategist Michael Blake about why and how to donate to the cause.

"It is a pivotal time now more than ever that we bring this museum to life," Bucano said. "It is a cultural timestamp that will bridge the Hip Hop and Bronx community with a permanent place to call home but we can not do it without your support. This capital campaign is a call to action to ensure we preserve the culture."

Rappers Kurtis Blow, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Melly Mel are the masterminds behind the museum, which aims to accurately preserve the history of local and global Hip Hop music and culture through stories, shows, film screenings, and leading-edge virtual and augmented reality technologies. Other rapper-producer-entrepreneurs have signed onto the project, including Nas, Ice-T and LL Cool J, Reuters reported.

The museum itself will take up 60,000 square feet in South Bronx—the birthplace of the Hip Hop genre. It'll be part of Bronx Point, a new waterfront development that includes 1 million square feet of affordable housing, as well as an esplanade along the Harlem River, a playground and green space for the public to use. 

Renderings of the museum's exterior and of Bronx Point by S9 Architecture and the esplanade by Marvel were recently released:

Universal Hip Hop Museum
Photograph: Courtesy S9 Architecture
Universal Hip Hop Museum
Photograph: Courtesy S9 Architecture
Universal Hip Hop Museum esplanade
Photograph: Courtesy Marvel

The museum has raised $23 million during Phase 1 for initial construction and now it's pushing toward Phase 2 with its capital campaign for its interior.

"The time for Hip Hop to have its home has come," Blake said. "Now, it's Time 2 Build. Our $100 Capital Campaign, which is in five phases to signify the five elements of Hip Hop, will ensure that the Official Record of Hip Hop is cemented where it should be, in the South Bronx, the South-South Bronx!"

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