NEW YORK -- Throughout this year we've been celebrating 50 years of hip-hop. But the ultimate celebration is still over a year away. That's when the Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx is scheduled to open its doors to the public.
CBS New York recently got a tour to see what we can expect.
Even before you step inside the museum, the lyrics of rap icon the Notorious BIG greet you with the unlikely-but-true story of the music that changed the world. It turns out, the museum's executive director, Rocky Bucano, actually did think it would, and then some.
"It's more than just music and art. It's a lifestyle. It's part of today's, you know, American tapestry," Bucano said.
Bucano showed CBS New York around the raw space inside and out, for one of the first tours of what he predicts will become a global destination.
"They're going to see not just a story of how hip-hop started him in the Bronx, but how hip-hop has impacted the entire world," Bucano said. "Every single square inch of this space is going to be used for storytelling, even the columns. Imagine floor to ceiling, this big display of hip-hop treasures in this corner over here, where we see Public Enemy, and the Beastie Boys, Hot 97 and WBLS. We'll have a little fishbowl right here, I need something big and massive, to make sure that the entire story, not just the local story, but the global story of hip-hop can be told."
There's a lot to tell and ambitious plans to present it all. Hundreds of thousands of items, artifacts, memorabilia familiar and surprising.
"I mean, it's ... look at this. And this is all new park space that's been developed for the community, or new amenities, fitness equipment," Bucano said.
When asked what it's all going to mean to everybody who comes, Bucano said, "Having the museum made it clear that we were creating a waterfront destination not just for the people in the Bronx, but for the entire New York City community and people who visited New York. We want them to come up to the Bronx. We want them to see the rebirth of the Bronx. This, to me, is like, you know, leading the renaissance of what the Bronx is now becoming."
It's just one wow after another.
"Yes, and that's what we want. But, more importantly, when people do all the exhibit displays, we want them to say, 'I learned so much more than I even anticipated about what Hip Hop actually is,'" Bucano said.
CBS New York is celebrating the iconic artists and history that are shaping a new generation of rappers. This Friday at 5:30 p.m. we'll air a new 30-minute special "Hip Hop at 50: Born in the Bronx." It will also be streaming online at CBS News New York.
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