A neighborhood that birthed hip-hop heavyweights like Q -Tip, Doug E Fresh and Mase will soon be the backdrop of a massive museum.
The first phase of the Hip Hop Hall of Fame Museum, projected to cost $150 million, will open in Harlem next February, according to Newsweek. Hip Hop Hall Fame, a nonprofit that aims to preserve and conduct research on the socioeconomic and cultural impact of hip-hop music, announced the plans for the museum last week.
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The first phase of the new project is slated to include a cafe, a gallery, a visitors bureau and a gift store on the ground floor, and on the second floor, a museum, event space, offices and a multimedia studio, according to a news release.
The second phase will expand to 20 stories and include a hotel, mall, gift shop, an arcade, concert lounge and restaurant.
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James “JT” Thompson, who founded the Hip Hop Hall of Fame in 1996, has been working to bring the hip-hop museum and complex to life for several years, according to the New York Post.
“This has been a labor of love. It’s had its valleys, mountains, peaks and falloffs,” Thompson told the Post in reference to museum plans halting following the deaths of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.
Pending the successful fundraising campaign for the museum, Thompson will see the fruits of his labor after 20 years.
“Hip-hop is about empowering yourself, moving beyond the music,” he told the Post. “The HHHOF and I have a duty and responsibility to preserve this rich history of music and culture.”