May 17, 2012


Music Video Pioneer Ralph McDaniels Celebrates 30 Years in the Game

Long before 106 & Park or Yo! MTV Raps, Video Music Box was the first, and premier, source for hip-hop videos, launching the careers of countless MCs, including Fat Joe, Nas and the Wu-Tang Clan, and giving many people their first look at a genre they had previously only heard but never seen.

When I interviewed rapper Buckshot for an article I wrote on McDaniels, he summed it up perfectly: "If there was no Bill Gates, there would be no Internet as we know it today. Well, if there was no Ralph McDaniels, there would be no hip-hop as we know it today. He was the first video show for rap, and a true hip-hop pioneer."

With a recent exhibit at Brooklyn's Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts entitled "The Box That Rocks," McDaniels spoke to Fuse about the show's history, getting Jay-Z and Biggie to perform together for his birthday and the power of hip hop.

"Kids in the ghetto didn't know kids in the suburbs were into hip hop like they were," said McDaniels. "They got an opportunity to intermingle with each other, which was cool and that's the way hip hop has always been."

Check out the full video above.

Related: Watch Super Rare Footage of Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z Performing Together

Related: Ralph McDaniels Remembers Beastie Boys' MCA