Thirty years ago when Ralph McDaniels conceptualized the idea of a Hip Hop video show, not very many bought into the idea. In fact there were many that posed resistance to the idea. As a guest on a weekly online radio talk show “The NY Hip Hop report’, McDaniels to the time to reflect on 30 years of Video Music Box.
McDaniel recalled that there was considerable resistance to the idea of a Hip Hop video show, but he says that persistence and passion won out, allowing him to see the realization of his vision. Now 30 years later, he is sitting up contemplating the multitudinous careers that were launched from that platform. He remembers that despite the early success on a regional scope, there were still many who doubted the potential for longevity in the mainstream market for a program like that.
“Yeah, we approached them [MTV] in 1986,” he said. “And they said, ‘Mainstream TV’s not ready for Hip Hop.’ I said, ‘Did you ever go to the Fresh Fest? You play Run-DMC! All kids are wearing Run-DMC gear and listening to the music.’” While MTV would go on launch “YO! MTV Raps” the following year, McDaniels says that he held no ill will towards MTV, seeing the show as an opportunity for Hip Hop to reach a broader audience.
The Video Music Box founder says that there is no animosity or ill will being harbored because of the resistance, the success of the show made it all worth it.
“People were like, ‘Yo, what do you think? Is that your competition?’ I said, ‘No, now the music can go further.’ If I or The Vid Kid did a video, it automatically got played across the country. That made our work get seen by people in other areas we didn’t reach.”