New York’s forthcoming Universal Hip Hop Museum is giving back to local hospitals and healthcare workers. On Thursday (April 23), the museum will host its live-streamed benefit event “Hip Hop Loves N.Y.,” which will feature appearances from museum co-founder Kurtis Blow, Ice T, Ja Rule, Mike Epps, De La Soul, Naughty by Nature, Biz Markie, Dave East, Chuck D, Kid N Play, Sugar Hill Gang, Big Daddy Kane and others, with Video Music Box creator Ralph Daniels acting as host.
“New York has become the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Universal Hip Hop Museum Executive Director Rocky Bucano said in a press release. “It has shed light on the health and economic disparities in Black and Brown communities as African Americans and Latinos are dying at a disproportionately higher rate.”
“This is a result of underlying health issues and major economic gaps in our city,” he continued. “The courage and the tenacity of the frontline healthcare workers serving in the most vulnerable populations is nothing short of heroic. We wanted to do something special to recognize their sacrifice and bring a little levity during this historic health crisis. This is how Hip Hop says thank you.”
The “Hip Hop Loves N.Y.” livestream will be available to watch through Mass Appeal’s YouTube channel from 6 to 9 pm EST. According to the press release, proceeds raised from the event will go toward the SOMOS Community Care network of over 2,500 healthcare providers. According to the organization’s website, the providers are located in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn and are working to ensure essential health needs are met amidst the pandemic.
Last December, the Universal Hip Hop Museum received a $3.5 million grant from the state of New York, as museum leaders plan to break ground on the project later this year. The museum is expected to officially open in 2023 and will be located in the Bronx.