After two decades in development, and the Hip Hop Hall of Fame Awards TV show broadcast in syndication and on BET Cable Network in the 90s; the Hip Hop Hall of Fame Museum & Entertainment Complex gets halfway to realizing its grand opening in the heart of New York City in late 2010 by securing $10 million in funding.
The HHHOF is poised to become the Hip-Hop institution of record for the 21st century, as reported in Billboard Magazine. It has two arms, the non-profit HHHOF Museum Foundation, which will oversee the museum, exhibits, and community outreach with “pioneers” of rap, and the for-profit HHHOF Global Media Group which will operate the restaurant, retail gift shop, concert lounge, TV studios, co-branded entertainment divisions, merchandising, special events, and corporate partnerships.
The Advisory Board members are illustrious and include legends Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Bros, RockHall inductee Melle Mel, Kurtis Blow, Pebblee Poo, L.A. Sunshine, Kool Herc, and the late Mr. Magic, and HHHOF inductee Jam Master Jay of Run DMC, to name a few.
The HHHOF will provide 300 jobs, internships, co-branded marketing opportunities, as well as educational events and outreach programs for the youth and families. The economic impact in the City of New York is expected to be over $350 million over five years, from on-site and off-site programming, tourism, B2B local commerce, consumer spending, and city tax revenues. The HHHOF, in conjunction with its kids mascot “B-Boy Scratch & Friends,” will also mentor over 20,000 NYC public school children per year with special field trips to the complex being dubbed as the new “Urban Theme Park.”
“After 26 months of talks and negotiations, that yielded a few false starts and stops along the way, has come to a suitable arrangement by matching funds that may be increased,” says J.T. Thompson, the chairman and creator-executive producer. The investment package was put together by Jackson Securities & Investment Bankers out of Atlanta in 2004, and was recently re-released for funding to various investment groups, celebrities, athletes, and corporate partners. We can appreciate our struggles and triumphs, like David Blumenfeld of Blumenfeld Development of NYC, who toiled for over 15 years, like the HHHOF, on the Harlem East River Plaza, set to open this year. We encountered many of the same challenges and sacrifices over the years.
The HHHOF “Hip Hop-A-Thon” campaign kicks off with the launch of HIPHOPHOF.COM, the official fan, artist, and industry social networking website and magazine set to go live on December 4. First 1,000 VIP members to sign up will be invited to attend a special “HHHOF Complex Unveiling Party” during the Hip Hop Hall of Fame Awards TV Show Week in NYC March 2010. First 10,000 VIP members will have their names listed in the permanent “HHHOF Founding Partners Exhibit” inside the HHHOF Museum. All VIP members will receive two (2) free gift choices of a collectible T-shirt, calendar or HOF anniversary DVD to be released in 2010.
“We wanted to give the fans and the lovers of Hip Hop around the world an opportunity to give to the ‘museum cause’ and to have a ‘pride of ownership stake and voice’ in what we do at the HHHOF Museum Complex and in the communities we serve. We have been often imitated but will never be duplicated, as Hip Hop legends have paved the way, and our goal is to expand the culture, with ‘barrier breaking’ leadership and development internationally well into the 21st century. HHHOF inductees will be announced in December, when tickets for the TV Awards show go on sale,” stated J.T. Thompson.
Originally created in 1992, the HHHOF Awards show was the first independently produced Hip Hop Awards show on the BET Network syndication arm in 1995, and was label mates with the Source Awards. The Creator, J.T. “J-Train” Thompson, is a Brooklyn-born, Queens- and Harlem-raised Hip Hop connoisseur, transplanted to Los Angeles in his early years where he entered the business as a concert promoter and television producer as a guest of former MCA/Universal artists Pebbles and the R&B Group the Deele that featured multi-Grammy Award winning artists/producers BabyFace and current Island-Def Jam head L.A. Ried. His uncle played with Billie Holliday, Louis Armstrong, and other Harlem legends. While a free agent professional athlete and businessman, Legends Eazy E, Ice Cube, Yo Yo, publicist Lynn Jeter, God-Mother Congresswomen Maxine Waters and Diane Watson gave J.T. his big break in promotions, productions and community events; as he went on to emerge as a major force in the “Hip Hop Fight the Power Leadership” era of the early 90s; even joining with Sister Souljah at UCLA. As one of the main co-founders of the historical L.A. Gang Truce Alliance during the 1992 Riots, J.T. took the lead as a Rebuild L.A. Board Member by empowering community, private, and public economic development partnerships, and helped push for the National Empowerment Zones from Los Angeles to the new Harlem USA projects. His story and team was highlighted in the movie “Redemption” starring Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, as J.T. utilized gang members on projects including restoring the Sear’s Hollywood. Despite the HHHOF and J.T. producing numerous albums, movies, concerts, step shows, special events from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, Atlanta, and NYC, Hip Hop took a negative turn during the media-hyped East-West turmoil and the Hip Hop Hall of Fame suffered in the downturn, and has had to overcome challenges and sacrifices, only to rise again today with a vengeance to finally close in on completing the NYC HHHOF Museum and Entertainment Complex.