NYC mayor Eric Adams called himself the first "Hip-Hop" mayor after announcing a $5.5 million investment for South Bronx’s Universal Hip Hop Museum, which is expected to open in 2025. The museum was founded by Rocky Bucano, Kurtis Blow, Ice T, LL Cool J, Nas, Afrika Bambaataa, and several other legendary artists.
After pointing out the number of Black elected officials holding power now at the city, state and federal levels, Adams credited Hip-Hop's cultural influence for the swell in numbers.
“All of this chocolate — we better do something with it. You know what I’m saying?” he said, according to the Daily News. “We can do this. And so this museum is our Trojan horse. We just wanted to get on the inside. We’re on the inside now.”
The museum will open in a 52,000-square-foot space at the Bronx Point development at Mill Pond Park, and will include gallery spaces, a black box theater, interactive exhibits and more. It's the only state chartered educational museum dedicated to celebrating and preserving local and global contributions to hip hop music and culture. According to Bucano, executive director, the museum has previously received $16 million from the state, as well as money from private businesses like Microsoft and the Warner Music Group. Now, Adams has contributed $2 million, another $2 million was provided by Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, and $1.5 million was allocated by the City Council.
“Don’t disconnect this moment," Adams said. "First time in New York City history — we have a hip hop mayor. Dyslexic, arrested, rejected — now I’m elected.”
Earlier this summer, the Universal Hip Hop Museum opened a new exhibit called "The Dapper Dan Lounge" which pays homage to Hip-Hop's golden era, which chief curator Paradise Gray of The X Clan says occurred from 1986-1990. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds from the upcoming Rock The Bells Festival will benefit the Universal Hip-Hop Museum.