The Universal Hip-Hop Museum is scheduled to open to the public in 2025. The project will be located in the Bronx, hip-hop’s birthplace.
Rocky Bucano, the museum’s founder, said the facility will honor hip-hop culture, encapsulating music, business, fashion, art, and culture, according to Time Out. The museum will include artwork and artifacts that provide history and prestige for hip-hop pioneers like DJ Kool Herc.
In addition to the museum, the 53,000-square-foot mixed-use development at Bronx Point will include:
- A hip-hop-themed restaurant
- An immersive theater space
- A performance hall
- On-site affordable housing
The museum aims for a soft launch towards the end of 2024 before its planned grand opening to the public the following year. Meanwhile, families are expected to move into the on-site apartments starting in November.
Bucano stated the museum will track the history of hip-hop from its very beginning to the present. The exhibitions will show the evolution of the culture’s technology and business progressions.
“We have enough space to really have a true celebration of hip-hop’s global history, starting from the beginning to where we are today,” Bucano said. “Using that enormous space, to not do it in a chronological way but to do it based on how hip-hop has had an impact in each of the five decades it has been in existence.”
As the museum’s completion draws nearer, it will curate pop-up exhibitions throughout the city. One such pop-up, “[R]evolution of Hip-Hop,” is currently on display at Bronx Terminal Market. The exhibit shows hip-hop through its golden era of 1986-1990.
A larger-scale pop-up is being planned to open at 11 Times Square, a former restaurant space. Although conceptualization is still in its early phases, the forthcoming pop-up will transform the space into an immersive experience that blends digital implementations with a food and beverage component. The Times Square exhibition, slated for a December 2023 opening, will focus on the five elements of hip-hop; DJing, emceeing, graffiti, breakdancing and knowledge.
The museum partnered with the New York City Mayor’s office this year to celebrate hip-hop’s 50th anniversary.
Last August, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo announced the museum would receive $5.5 million in capital budget funding.