It’s official: a hip-hop museum is set to open in Harlem, the birthplace of the genre, early next year. The museum will be over twenty stories tall and include an arcade, a concert lounge, and a sports bar, plus a five star hotel right next to it. The large-scale project is estimated to bring in over $350 million to the Harlem area.
Announced in a press release today, the move will help cement hip-hop’s legacy and cultural influence. The museum will provide a space for the genre’s iconic artists to be recognized and celebrated. “The Museum will enshrine hip-hop pioneers and legends in wax and through displays (memorabilia and collectibles are presently being gathered and catalogued),” the release reads. Currently, only seven of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 295 inductees are hip-hop acts (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-D.M.C., Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, N.W.A., and Tupac).
First emerging out of New York City in the 70s with commercially successful tracks like The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” hip-hop has become a cross-cultural, mainstream genre —80% of hip-hop listeners being white men. In 2015, Spotify found that hip-hop was the most played genre in the world on its streaming service.