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Twenty Years of Yo! MTV Raps!!!

by Travis on April 19, 2008

(Before we start off, gotta give it up to El Gringo Colombiano for giving me the idea for the quarterly post, gotta give credit where credit is due….)

It’s been TWENTY years since the first episode of Yo! MTV Raps. I personally think Yo! is responsible for hip hop being the global force that it is. The show is legendary, a one of a kind, event that will forever be seen as one of the best things to ever happen to hip hop culture. It was the most important media vehicle that the music has ever witnessed. The effect it had on just me is immeasurable. It is single handedly responsible for hip hop being the major part of my life that it is still, twenty years after it first appeared. The summer of 1988, I was getting ready to start my sophomore year in high school. I had already gotten into hip hop, thanks to Run DMC (another group near and dear to my heart), and already had tapes from the Beastie Boys, LA Dream Team, Whodini, Fat Boys, UTFO, and LL Cool J, but it would be that first episode of Yo! MTV Raps that would launch me into a whole other world when it came to hip hop music. The first episode actually aired while I was on a family vacation, but I made damn sure that I set the VCR to tape the episode. I watched it everyday for the next month until MTV started and by the end of that year, I had every artist that appeared on that debut episode.

The next seven years, it wouldn’t matter what time it came on, I made sure if I didn’t watch in person, that it was taped. The Today shows, the Saturday morning shows, they all got put on a VHS tape. I had a gang of tapes, most of which have been lost or broken, but I still have a few that have survived. The show introduced me to so many different artists that as a kid in a ho-dunk town, I probably would have never known.

The show is so important to me on so many levels, so I have to point out that MTV is celebrating Yo’s Twentieth Anniversary. I’m kind of disappointed more isn’t being made out of this. I don’t watch MTV anymore, so I don’t know if they’ve been advertising this or not but I haven’t really read much about it anywhere else. I figured I’d link up some of the highlights that MTV has posted up on God forbid they actually show this on MTV….


Top 10 Episodes

10. Yo! MTV Raps at Spring Break ’92
9. Fab 5 Freddie In Tokyo, Japan
8. Fab 5 Freddie in Houston with the Geto Boys
7. Ed & Dre in Jamica for Sun Splash and Dancehall coverage and first International Episode
6. Fab 5 Freddie’s Debut episode w/ Salt N Pepa
(Tie) Ed Lover & Dr. Dre’s debut episode of Yo! MTV Raps Today
5. Bobby Brown on Yo! MTV Raps Today
4. Tupac appearance on Yo! MTV Raps Today trashing the Hughes Brothers (Menace II Societ)
3. The first showing of Bad Boy Records, with Puffy, Craig Mack and Biggie’s first appearance.
2. The first time for NWA on Yo! MTV Raps in Compton.
1. The final episode of Yo! MTV Raps and the legendary cipher.

Yo! MTV Raps Top Twenty Videos

20. De La Soul – Buddy
19. MC Hammer – Turn This Mutha Out (BELIEVE DAT!!) (anyone got this version of the song?)
18. Geto Boys – Mind Playin’ Tricks On Me
17. Stop The Violence Movement – Self Destruction
16. Naughty By Nature – O.P.P.
15. 2 Live Crew – Me So Horny
14. N.W.A. – Express Yourself
13. Big Daddy Kane – Ain’t No Half Steppin
12. Beastie Boys – Hey Ladies
11. LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out
10. Boogie Down Productions – My Philosophy
9. Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock – It Takes Two
8. Eric B & Rakim – Microphone Fiend
7. Salt N Pepa – Push It
6. Ice Cube – It Was A Good Day
5. Public Enemy – Fight The Power
4. Notorious BIG – Warning
3. Tupac – Keep Ya Head Up
2. Run DMC – Run’s House
1. Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg – Nuthin’ But A G Thang

Top 20 Moments In Yo! MTV Rap History
20. Jennifer Lopez’s debut as a dancer for Hammer’s posse
19. 1995 Fugee’s Freestyle session Which Consists of L. Boogie gettin’ down
18. 1992 Shaq Attack!
17. 1990 Biz Markie On Spring Break
16. 1990 Fab 5 goes to a car show and the Chicano culture
15. 1992 Dr. Dre & Ed Lover Karaoke
14. 1992 T-Money as Michael Jackson
13. 1990 Fab 5 Five & Get Out and Vote
12. 1990 West Coast All-Stars
11. 1990 The
Shut-up Show

10. 1992 Roxanne’s Shante’s Beef
9. 1991 Ed & Dre At Guantanamo Bay
8. 1992 Fab 5 Runs With the Bulls
7. 1989 Grammy Hate
6. 1992 Dennis Leary On ‘Who’s The Man?’
5. 1993 Tupac Remembered
4. 1994 On Set With Wu-Tang
3. 1993 Busta’s Big Breakup
2. 1989 Ed Lover’s (Second-Ever) Dance
1. 1991 Run-D.M.C. Gets Live On ‘Yo!’

Yo! Hottest Videos By Year


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