Featuring classic live performances from Eric B & Rakim, EPMD, Gang Starr ft Nice & Smooth, Naughty By Nature, Grand Puba & Mary J Blige, Digable Planets, LL Cool J, Redman, 2Pac, and more.
Yo! MTV Raps was a two-hour television music video program, which first aired on MTV Europe from 1987 to the mid-90s and on MTV US from August 1988 to August 1995. The program (created by Ted Demme and Peter Dougherty) was the first Hip Hop music show on the network, based on the original MTV Europe show, aired one year earlier. Yo! MTV Raps produced a mix of rap videos, interviews with rap stars, live in-studio performances (on Fridays), and comedy.
The U.S. version was originally hosted by Fab 5 Freddy. Later, the show’s main host was Doctor Dré and Demme’s high school friend, Ed Lover who both hosted together on weekdays. Soon they were joined by Doctor Dre’s Original Concept group member T Money. Fab 5 Freddy proceeded to host on weekends. The original line-up of the show, starring only Fab as the host, premiered on MTV on August 6, 1988.
On the weekday version dubbed, Yo! MTV Raps Today (which debuted on March 13, 1989), Ed Lover created his own dance called the Ed Lover Dance (which was typically featured on Wednesdays) that became somewhat popular in the 1990s. The Ed Lover Dance was performed to the track “The 900 Number” by The 45 King.
The advent of Yo! MTV Raps in the late 1980s was crucial to the spread of hip-hop around the world. Through MTV Europe, MTV Asia, and MTV Latino, African-American, and Latino styles and sounds were instantly available to millions of people across the globe. This helped to create a worldwide appreciation and interest in the Hip Hop scene.
Yo! MTV Raps had its series finale on August 17, 1995. Numerous high-profile names in the world of Hip Hop closed the show out with a freestyle rap session. Salt-N-Pepa holds the distinction of appearing on the first (technically, the first episode to feature Fab 5 Freddy) and last episodes of Yo! MTV Raps.