Mayor Eric Adams has boldly declared himself NYC’s first “hip hop mayor.” Adams made the audacious assertion while speaking at a press conference to announce new funding going towards the building of the Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx.

“Hip hop tells the story of this city and the Bronx so vividly. It tells life amid poverty and crime, of turning pain into purpose, of making it,” said Mayor Adams (Aug. 3). Thus far, $19.8 million worth of funding has been put towards the completion of the museum. Adams has contributed $2 million and other local elected officials have donated $3.5 million, according to the press release. The facility boasts 52,000 square feet and will feature interactive exhibits, a black box theater, galleries and administrative offices. The museum’s doors are expected to open to the public in 2024.

“We have the power now where we can use the experience of these men and women here to reform how we use music to educate our children,” Adams continued. “To not only build this project but to make sure the young people on this project don’t have a steel gun but a steel hammer so they can be a part of the construction,” he said.

Adams has come under fire for his harsh criticism of drill music. In recent months, he has openly blamed the genre for contributing to NYC’s uptick in violent crimes. As previously reported by REVOLT, Adam’s son, Jordan Coleman, has spoken out against his father’s stance on drill music.

“I’m saying to my brothers and sisters in the industry: We wanna be your partners. You laid the blueprint that we are following. Too many of us have been singing off key. Now we have to have a universal rap that we all have to say together,” Adams said. In his closing remarks, Adams said he was happy to be mayor as the museum inches towards completion. “So this is only the beginning, and I’m proud to be the mayor at this time. Thank God Bill DeBlasio didn’t open this museum. No hate on him, but this is my museum I should be opening,” he added.

A year ago, Nas, LL Cool J and Fat Joe attended the museum’s groundbreaking ceremony (May 2021). “The Universal Hip Hop Museum is the official museum of hip hop culture. Founded by hip hop pioneers,” said Rocky Bucano, founder and executive director of the museum. Bucano added, “Hip hop was homegrown in the Bronx, and now with that vital support, we’re poised to become a global destination where visitors can learn about hip hop’s storied past and vibrant future.”