By Andrea Romano
January 17, 2020
Signs honoring Hip-Hop pioneers Rock Steady Crew and US sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer hang from a lamp post as part of the Bronx Walk of Fame in the Bronx on March 7, 2017 in New York.
| Credit: DON EMMERT/Getty Images

East coast hip hop was born in the Bronx, and soon there will be a way to see the history of this popular music genre from its very own birthplace.

Construction for the Universal Hip Hop Museum, a museum dedicated to the history and prominent figures of hip hop music is expected to break ground later in 2020 in the Bronx in New York City, with a projected opening date sometime in 2023 in celebration of the musical genre’s 50th anniversary, Lonely Planet reported.

The museum is a collaboration between Microsoft and the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality and artists Grand Wizzard Theodore, Kurtis Blow, Ice-T, Nas, Q-Tip, and LL Cool J., among others. There is currently a pop-up museum in the Bronx Terminal Market, but the new location will be permanent.

The museum will guide visitors through the history of hip hop, from the 1970s to the present day, according to Lonely Planet. Breakdancers, graffiti, the first dee-jays and emcees, and of course, all the most iconic hip hop artists and their music will have a place in the new museum. This museum, according to Lonely Planet, will be the first cultural institution in the U.S. dedicated to the genre.

We knew it was important because the Bronx is where hip-hop started," said museum director Rocky Bucano to CNN. "It's crazy to think of how hip-hop — which has such an influence on pop culture, advertising, politics — doesn't have a place to call home."

Bucano told the New York Post, “The museum is part of the renaissance of the Bronx. The Bronx is coming back. But the museum will be of the people and for the people.”

According to Variety, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on a measure that will contribute $3.7 million to the museum’s construction. “We have been at this dream for about six years now,” said rapper and museum co-founder Kurtis Blow, according to Variety. “We have about 30 to 35 people sacrificing and donating their time to make this dream a reality, and we’re getting close. Our mission is to use technology of today to tell this story of the history of hip hop.” Blow added that the museum will also incorporate new technologies and kid-friendly interaction.

The museum will be breaking ground at the Bronx Point later this year, according to CNN. Most dates and information are still forthcoming.

More information about the Universal Hip Hop Museum can be found on the museum’s website.