Yo! Bum rush the show that trail­blazed rap on MTV

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

Ex­pect an out­pour­ing of hip-hop nos­tal­gia this week­end when MTV screens a ret­ro­spec­tive of Yo! MTV Raps.

The tele­vi­sion net­work’s sem­i­nal hip-hop show ran from the late 1980s to 1995. In its prime, Yo! MTV Raps was a bit of an in­sti­tu­tion, show­cas­ing acts that of­ten didn’t have such easy ac­cess to air­time else­where on the sta­tion’s sched­ule at the time.

You can check out some of those sem­i­nal mo­ments from the ar­chive on Youtube. One of our favourites is the show’s first en­counter with an edgy Wu-tang Clan, with Ol’ Dirty Bas­tard ex­plain­ing why you won’t find a fridge in his kitchen.

The re­turn of Yo! MTV Raps ties into a fond­ness that even hip-hop pos­sesses for what hap­pened back in the day. It’s not just Stone Roses fans who get a han­ker­ing for the past, you know.

De­spite hip-hop’s gi­gan­tic strides into the main­stream – and de­spite the fact that you cur­rently have hugely tal­ented acts such as A$AP Rocky, Ken­drick Le­mar, Azealia Banks, The In­ter­net, Jay Elec­tron­ica, Kreayshawn and dozens more ready to go large – the nos­tal­gia for what went be­fore is still preva­lent.

Per­haps it’s a case that many don’t think you can em­u­late, or bet­ter, what the Wu, Pub­lic En­emy, De La Soul, No­to­ri­ous B.I.G. and oth­ers pro­duced in their pomp.

There’s also the fact that many see that era as hip-hop’s golden age be­fore com­mer­cial con­sid­er­a­tions be­gan to hold swag.

It’s some­thing that comes across again and again in hip-hop his­tory tomes such as Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop or The Big Pay­back.

To quote Big Poppa once again, “it was all a dream/ I used to read Word Up! mag­a­zine/ You never thought that hip-hop would take it this far.” (Sub Pop) One of the al­bums of 2012 sees Ish­mael But­ler and his hip-hop space cadets head­ing to the far side.

(An­ther­day) The Chi Town house pro­ducer’s 1996 al­bum gets a wel­come reis­sue, and we get to wow once again at the grooves he was mint­ing back then. The A$AP Mob get ready to rum­ble, as Ferg fol­lows Rocky to the front of the stage as the lat­ter chan­nels his in­ner Dr Oc­tagon.

(Circa) We knew that Azealia Banks re­minded us of some­one. This is from 1988, and still sounds so damn sassy.

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