The Universal Hip Hop Museum received an early Christmas present from New York.

On Thursday (Dec. 19), New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will award the Bronx-area museum, which is under construction, a $3.5 million grant to help further build a state-of-the-art exhibit dedicated to the celebration of hip-hop music and culture.

"The grant from Governor Andrew Cuomo is a testament to the cultural and economic development importance of the Universal Hip Hop Museum to the borough of the Bronx and the state of New York" said Rocky Bucano, Executive Director of The Universal Hip Hop Museum in a press release.

The $80 million project is was funded by the Empire State Development and was first conceived back in 2014 alongside the support of hip-hop pioneers like Kurtis Blow and Ice-T, with Blow serving as the museum's chairman and Ice-T joining its founding board of directors. In 2018, Public Enemy's Chuck D joined the board of directors. The museum also has corporate support from companies like Microsoft and fellow rap icons like Nas and LL Cool J.

The UHHM is designed to help preserve the history of global hip-hop music from the past, present and future. According to Bucano, there will be exhibits on MCs, DJs, graffiti artists and break dancers, dating back to the 1970s. “The museum is part of the renaissance of the Bronx. The Bronx is coming back,” he told the New York Post. “But the museum will be of the people and for the people.”

Earlier this month, The UHHM teamed up with MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality and Microsoft to launch the interactive “[R]Evolution of Hip Hop Breakbeat Narratives" exhibit located at The Bronx Terminal Market in the Bronx. The installation offers visitors an inside peak of what to expect when the museum finally opens.

The Universal Hip Hop Museum is set to break ground in 2020 and open in 2023 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of hip-hop culture.

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