The Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame Reveals Plans For Museum & Hotel: Is It All A Dream?

Renderings surface for a Hip-Hop Hall of Fame building with hotel and live venue.

By Jeff Vasishta November 15, 2016

“If you build it, they will come,” said the mysterious voice to Kevin Costner in Field Of Dreams. Well, the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame (HHHOF) have taken the idea one step further. Their notion appears to be “If you draw it, they will come.”

As a part of its Hip Hop History Month celebrations, the organization announced that it has narrowed its site selection for a museum and hotel to two possible locations.

Related: The Birthplace Of Hip-Hop Gets Historic Props. Or Does It?

While it declined to identify the spots, Real Estate Weekly reported, along with a colorful rendering, that both are in areas with major transportation hubs where more than 20 million tourists and commuters pass by and travel annually. The only problem is that no investors are yet on board and no permits have been filed.

“We are pleased that the Hip Hop Hall of Fame Museum & Hotel Building project is moving forward and that it will have a major socio-economic impact on tourism, culture, education, live events, film & television production and broadcasting, and job creation in New York City,” J.T. Thompson, founder of the HHHOF announced.

Earlier this year it was widely speculated that the HHHOF museum would open on 125th St in Harlem.

Thompson created and produced the first HHHOF awards ceremony and concert on the BET television network in the 1990s. The HHHOF will, Thompson says, be modeled after the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, which followed a similar timeline, producing 20 years of awards shows before opening its museum.

The facility, according to Thompson, intends to be a non-profit Culture Museum and Educational Institution that will exhibit documentation of hip-hop’s development and its impact on social trends and enshrine hip-hop pioneers and legends. The organization hopes to open the facility in 2019 and said it has begun discussions with major hotel chains to partner on the project. No specifics, however, has been given yet.

Related: A Williamsburg Mega Condo Complex Comes To Life

Currently, there are several 1 to 3-star budget hotels around 125th and St Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Blvds. Whether a hotel and hip-hop museum will have the kind of draw to attract major investment remains to be seen. Hip-hop, while embraced domestically and internationally, is viewed less favorably with promoters and authorities in New York itself. Earlier this year, following shooting violence at a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza, Rolling Stone reported that concert promoter Live Nation canceled a handful of shows. It was a decision made in conjunction with the NYPD. For any venue and hotel to be successful it will need to be violence and drama free. It will also need a steady diet of popular artists performing there to attract guests. If New York’s incident riddled hip-hop past is anything to go, the development may remain a tough sell.

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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