The Universal Hip Hop Museum is built by, and built for, pioneers. We call people who were at the foundation of Hip Hop pioneers. We also attach this moniker to people who share and donate items they feel are valuable, meaningful, and powerful, and who want their legacy to be attached to the UHHM.
From time to time, we spotlight these pioneers as we thank them for their generosity. If this moves you to donate to the Universal Hip Hop Museum, click here to learn more, and click here to dialogue with us.
We feature each of these individuals for their contributions.
Enjoy, and thank you.
Donor Spotlight Stories
“Growing up a small poor white kid in a multi-ethnic neighborhood in Milwaukee, I am glad that Hip Hop found me, and I found it. It made me feel cool and tough and hip. I don’t know if I was any of those, but thankfully the music helped me exude those things to a degree. I am unbelievably honored to be able to share gifts and collaborate creatively with some of the people who have had the biggest influence ever on Hip Hop music and culture. Then, to have those interactions and collaborations be installed in a museum dedicated to the music I have loved the most in my life brings me unspeakable joy.”
“My work as a filmmaker aims to document, preserve, and tell stories that highlight my communities’ histories. Having the “Pass the Mic!” Collection at the Universal Hip Hop Museum contributes towards the well-being and unity of Brown, Indigenous, Black, and immigrant communities.”
“I feel like Hip Hop picked me. It presented itself to me on the street. This movement picked me because of the way I experienced it on the streets of New York. It was such a dynamic force in 1985-1986. I was compelled to start taking these photos. Because it was happening. It was viral. It was coming out of the speakers. Kangol hats. It solved the problem that every artist has: where are you going to point your camera? I was in the right place at the right time. And I ran with it.” – Michael Benabib
“As a white kid growing up in rural New York, absolutely LOVING Hip Hop starting in the early 80s, and being told over and over to ‘Turn that crap off,” it fills my heart to know that I lived to see a museum for the culture that I have loved for so long.” – Jamie Robinson aka Mr. Throwback Thursday
“This donation helped me realize that I have a voice in the culture, and that everything that I’ve been creating throughout the years isn’t falling on deaf ears. Growing up with depression and self-doubt, Hip Hop provided an outlet and a safe haven to fully express myself. Hip Hop saved a lot of people’s lives, including mine. I will continue to strive and push the culture in the right direction.” – GF Anon
What’s Important About These Items Building from the ground up is how all music, particularly jazz, spirituals, and Hip Hop, came to be. When Ope Odumakin began DailyRapFacts® and rooted
What’s Important About These Items Once upon a time, in the tropical kingdom of Kingston, Jamaica, Nomad Carlos co-created the underground Hip Hop scene. Miami-born, Kingston-raised, and now based in
What’s Important About These Items As an art teacher today, and one who was a member of a graffiti crew in the mid-1980s, who learned how to pop lock from
What’s Important About These Items In a world, in a life, where music was recorded and released on tangible material, the promotional components were part of the audio experience. Danny
What’s Important About These Items The truest music can be seen as well as heard. Christian Paniagua knows this. His art is born of, and fueled by, his roots –
What’s Important About These Items Approached, circa 2007, by a company with an offer to create a clothing line for a prominent musician, Rich Berrios had no idea he was
What’s Important About This Item Accessories and apparel are to Hip Hop what stilettos and pocket squares are to fashion. The t-shirt Luis Uriondo chose to donate resonates with him,