If there’s one thing that the recently-released oral history I Want My MTV got across, it’s the newsflash that the network no longer really cares about music (or at least not the way it did in the 1980s). Their forward-thinking philosophy has theoretically given them shark-like memories, though there are occasional bits of nostalgia that manage to sneak in between airings of Teen Mom and whatever Chelsea Settles is.
They’ve already moved 120 Minutes from a monthly show to a weekly one (albeit in a singularly painful timeslot, Friday mornings between 6 and 8 a.m.), and they just announced that they’re going to bring back Yo! MTV Raps for one night only on December 4.
The original show was a watershed moment in TV history, and undeniably helped move hip-hop into the mainstream — Though apparently, the audience was already fiending for it; that same oral history notes that the first episode of Yo! MTV Raps in 1988 instantly became the most-watched show in the network’s history.
The special Yo! MTV Raps Classic Cuts will take a look back at the show’s origins (a number of different people have taken credit for it’s creation, though most agree it wouldn’t have existed without late film director Ted Demme, who was then a PA at the network), its hosts (Dr. Dre, Ed Lover, and Fab 5 Freddy), and its cultural reach (namely making cultishly-adored rappers like Rakim into household names).
The show also promises to deep dive into three legendary clips that ran in heavy rotation during the show’s golden era: A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario” (featuring the debut of a crazy young MC from New York named Busta Rhymes), Geto Boys’ “My Mind’s Playing Tricks on Me,” and Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day.” While all of those are indeed classics in their own way, what other hip-hop videos from the show’s original run (1988-1995) qualify as the greatest? READ FULL STORY »