NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some of New York City’s biggest music legends attended a groundbreaking ceremony in the South Bronx Thursday.

They lent their voices to launch the construction of a new housing complex and hip hop museum, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported.

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This massive construction site looked more like a concert featuring a lineup of hip hop royalty.

“I’m proud to be here in the mecca of hip hop, the Bronx,” announced Grammy Award-winning rapper Nas.

Fat Joe, Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J and Nas, to name a few, traded their microphones to break ground.

Construction of the new Universal Hip Hop Museum is officially underway. It’s part of a $349 million development project along the Harlem River waterfront at 150th Street called Bronx Point.

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The whole area will be transformed into an entertainment and housing complex with park space and all kinds of community programming.

“We have over 540 units of permanently affordable housing… We have an early childhood space, and we also have a beautiful public park and esplanade, over two acres of public space,” said L&M Senior Director Josue Sanchez.

The museum was supposed to open in 2023 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of hip hop’s birth, which is said to have started at a party on Sedgewick Avenue in early 1973. But the pandemic pushed construction back a year.

Still, developers say the new buildings, like hip hop music, will rise.

“We took the scraps that were left behind and created a whole industry, culture and genre,” said LL Cool J. “It just shows you that we can take something that people thought was nothing and turn it into something really special.”

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Decades from now, the museum and buildings will still be here, shifting the infrastructure of the Bronx – like what hip hop did to the music industry.

Natalie Duddridge