New York, May 20 (EFE).- Nas, Lil Kim and Fat Joe were among the hip hop pioneers who gathered Thursday in the Big Apple borough of the Bronx to break ground on a development that will include the Universal Hip Hop Museum.
The museum, projected to open in 2023, is part of Bronx Point, a $349 million mixed-use project along the Harlem River waterfront in the South Bronx.
“Hip hop is one of those things that really gave my life meaning. It made me feel like I really could do something with my life,” LL Cool J said.
“It taught me more than schools taught me, believe it or not,” Nas said of the category that revolutionized popular music. “I’m proud to be here in the mecca of hip hop, the Bronx.”
The array of hip hop legends who turned out for the event also included Naughty by Nature, Grandmaster Flash, Slick Rick, Michael Bivins and EMPD.
The groundbreaking for the first phase of Bronx Point also marked the start of a drive to raise $100 million for work on the Universal Hip Hop Museum.
“Anchored in the birthplace of the culture, the Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx will provide a space for audiences, artists, and technology to converge, creating unparalleled educational and entertainment experiences around the Hip Hop culture of the past, present, and future,” the institution says on its website At the heart of phase one of Bronx Point will be 542 units of affordable housing.
Besides the Hip Hop Museum, the first phase is to include amenities such as an early childhood space run by BronxWorks and outdoor science programming operated by the Billion Oyster Project.
Bronx Point is “going to be a global destination,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said during Thursday’s ceremony. “It’s going to be an economic engine.”
Also on hand was New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, who said that the city needed to embrace the history of hip hop as “our history.”
“We did something here. You did something here no one else created,” he said, addressing the array of hip hop luminaries. EFE nqs/dr