Even after a boycott from legends like KRS-One, the National Museum of Hip Hop faces yet a barrage of new problems. A recent article in the New York Times has detailed the long-awaited museum has been battling funding and location issues. Despite the numerous obstacles the museum faces, the minds behind its creation hope to accomplish the unthinkable.
“Hip Hop as a culture is extremely powerful, but I think there is a stereotype out there that none of us can work together,” said said the museum’s president Craig Wilson. “I am hoping to turn that image around and show people how powerful we actually are.” (NYTimes.com)
Currently, the organizing forces behind the museum face a dilemma with location and size of the building. Originally intended to be housed in Hip Hop’s birthplace of the Bronx, the museum’s location had to be moved to Harlem after the proposed building proved to be too expensive to renovate. In addition, the size of the museum has been halved from intial 100,000-square-foot area.
Perhaps most dire for the National Museum of Hip Hop is its lack of funds. The museum organization’s bank account currenly only holds $6,000, a mere fraction of the necessary $50 million. Regardless, Wilson feels that the Hip Hop community is strong enough to help give the museum a future during next month’s “Donate a Dollah” campaign, which will ask fans of the music to donate one dollar each.
“The Hip Hop posse is huge, and not only in the U.S.,” said Wilson. “If we got a dollar from just Hip Hop fans in New York City alone, we would be fully funded.” (NYTimes.com)
Another issue that the National Museum of Hip Hop faces is the payment of Hip Hop’s forefathers for not only their contributions to the culture, but also to the museum itself. Although the museum organization’s vice president John Ambrose has indicated there are plans to compensate such artists once the museum is established, some feel it is not enough.
“Everyone comes to us, wants to put us on display to help them get funding, and nothing ever comes of it,” said Grandmaster Caz, one of the many critics of the museum. (NYTimes.com)
Despite the surmounting list of problems with the creation of the museum, Wilson shows no signs of throwing in the towel. For the New York native, he feels that this is Hip Hop’s last chance at establishing a center that preserves its rich history.
“[My relatives] think I’m crazy,” he said. “They know I’m educated and I’ve had jobs, so it just doesn’t make sense to them…the only reason I can come up with is that I truly believe if I don’t, no one else will.” (NYTimes.com)