Plans Underway For Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame In NYC

Plans are underway for a Hip-Hop Hall of Fame Museum, which will open in November in New York. Organizers of the museum — including Hip-Hop Hall of Fame Awards founder/executive producer James “J.T.” Thompson and legendary artist Grandmaster Caz — last week announced plans for a Hip-Hop Hall of Fame mini-empire, which will include the museum, a televised awards show and a TV network called Hip-Hop 1. The museum will house memorabilia and historical records, as well as a TV studio, a retail store and a themed restaurant.

The Hip-Hop Hall of Fame ceremony was first televised on BET in 1996, but organizers say competition from the Source Hip-Hop Awards (which has been televised on UPN and BET) in part hindered plans to bring the award show back to TV. But with the planned opening of the museum in November, organizers are aiming to televise the next Hip-Hop Hall of Fame ceremony, which will take place in February 2005.

The Hip-Hop Hall of Fame also plans to stage other events, including the Urban Music Festival and Back 2 School Music & Fashion Fest. The 1999 Urban Music Festival, featuring Goodie Mob and the Ying Yang Twins, aired on NBC.

There will also be a Hip-Hop Hall of Fame reunion concert featuring host Grandmaster Caz and performances by several artists, including Rob Base, Melle Mel and Raheim. The concert will take place May 19 at private location in New York. Thompson says that the organization is in talks with the USA Network and Fox to televise the event, which may be released on home video/DVD.

Grandmaster Caz is also the president of the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame’s music and video operations. Hip-Hop 1, headed by chief programming officer Craig Cason, is expected to initially launch later this year on satellite TV for up to 10 hours a week and expand to 24-hour programming next year.

The Hip-Hop Hall of Fame organizers say that they will reveal the exact location of the museum at a later date, but they did confirm that it will be an existing building in midtown Manhattan. The museum plans to host workshops and seminars aimed at improving communities and hip-hop relations in the music industry.


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