Yo! Bum rush the show that trailblazed rap on MTV
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.