Our latest dose of Yo! MTV Raps flavored nostalgia takes us all the way back to the day it all started. August 6, 1988, to be more precise. The groundbreaking show premiered on this date, and would subsequently grant hip-hop music & culture newfound visibility and elevate the genre toward more mainstream acceptance, the history of which weve explored in greater detail recently. Three months removed from the release of their fourth studio album Tougher Than Leather, Run DMC were selected to host the debut episode, and the trios dynamism on camera reinforced that they were indeed the right choice to officially introduce the series.
Special guest appearances were abundant throughout the pilot, with late 80s hip-hop stalwarts including DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, J.J. Fad, and Public Enemy taking the time to express their support for the launch of Yo!. The first video ever played on the show was Eric B. & Rakims Follow the Leader, followed by Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crews Keep Risin To the Top, Run DMCs Mary Mary prefaced by a medley of the groups videos to date, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Princes Parents Just Dont Understand, J.J. Fads Supersonic, Beastie Boys No Sleep Till Brooklyn, and LL Cool Js Goin Back to Cali. Toward the end of the broadcast, a brief montage of clips showcased a handful of artists on the rise at the time, comprised of Salt-N-Pepa, Kool Moe Dee, Biz Markie, EPMD, Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, 2 Live Crew, Heavy D & The Boyz, Dana Dane, Mantronix, Audio Two, and MC Lyte.
Now thats a whole lotta golden age talent packed into one hour-long show, and the majority of these acts have since earned bona fide legend status in the annals of hip-hop. So without further ado, the team here at soulhead invites you to join us for this magical trip down Yo! MTV Raps memory lane by pressing play below. Enjoy!