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Hip Hop Hall of Fame headed to Manhattan

Hip-Hop Hall of Fame inductees Run-DMC.

Hip-Hop Hall of Fame inductees Run-DMC. Credit: Handout

After years of planning and setbacks, the long-awaited Hip Hop Hall of Fame is headed to Manhattan.

The exact details of the museum are still being worked out, according to the hall's business manager Bobby Fisher, but it will be open in midtown by 2014.

Fisher said the hall of fame's creator, James "JT" Thompson, wanted to bring the museum to the city not only because it is the center of the world, but also because it is the birthplace of the genre. "We have to make sure New York is the place where the history is cultivated," he said.

The exact location and concept drawings of the museum will be revealed in July, but Fisher said it will include 20 to 25 exhibits that will showcase the past 30 years of hip-hop. Along with memorabilia, such as records and posters, the exhibits will include holograms, and interactive learning centers, Fisher said.

"The hall of fame itself will be like a hallowed ground," he said.

The museum will also host tours for thousands of city children each day and include a gift shop and restaurant.

Before the museum opens its doors, it will add more members to its roster, which includes artists such as Run-DMC and radio DJ Red Alert.

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In November, the Apollo Theater will host the Hall of Fame's inductee ceremony, which has been on hiatus since 1997, following the murders of rappers Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.

Proceeds from the show were collected to help fund the museum, which has been in the works since 1994, but financial difficulties put plans on hold.

Economics have become a major roadblock for music museums in the city.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's annex in SoHo was open for only a year before it closed in 2010. Despite having New York-focused memorabilia such as Bruce Springsteen's 1957 Chevy and John Lennon's Record Plant Piano, fans were put off by the museum's high entry fee.

Fisher said the museum's planning board has taken the current economic environment into account and said that when the space opens, it will be an immediate hit with tourists and New Yorkers alike.

"It will become a fabric of New York City," he said.

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