The return of Yo! MTV Raps
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 Eighties to 1995. In its prime, Yo! MTV Raps was a bit of …
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 Eighties to 1995. In its prime, Yo! MTV Raps was a bit of an institution, showcasing acts who often didn’t have such easy access to airtime elsewhere on the station’s schedule at the time.
Head to YouTube and you can check out some of those seminal moments from the archive. One of OTR’s 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.
Of course, the return of Yo! MTV Raps ties into a fondness which 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 of late – and despite the fact that you currently have hugely talented acts like 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 like 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.”