The Amazing Oral History Of ‘Yo! MTV Raps’


The amazing oral history of Yo! MTV Raps by Fab 5 Freddy, Ed Lover, Doctor Dre & others celebrate the 30th anniversary concert in New York City.

Rap music and hip-hop culture are as influential and prevalent as they have ever been, influencing all reaches of the globe and making an impact on all facets of society. Today, seeing rap artists and hip-hop being embraced and promoted on television, in movies and beyond may be the norm, but just three decades ago, the culture and music were still in the process of breaking the barriers that kept it from being accepted by mainstream America. However, in 1988, the hip-hop revolution would begin to be televised when MTV debuted Yo! MTV Raps, the network’s first large attempt at incorporating rap music videos into its format, enabling fans outside of major markets like New York City and L.A. pillar to see their favorite artists on the small screen.

Premiering on August 6, 1988, Yo! MTV Raps would be a game-changer and quickly become an institution in hip-hop, with host Fab 5 Freddy, a legendary NYC graffiti writer and curator of cool, holding court over the proceedings and serving as rap’s first ambassador and conduit in providing context to music and the cultural lifestyle surrounding it. Originally aired solely over the weekend, the show was such a big hit out of the gate that it prompted MTV to add a daily weekday version, dubbed Yo! MTV Raps Today, which premiered the following year on March 13, 1989. Introducing Ed Lover and Doctor Dre as hosts of Yo! MTV Raps Today, the brand would catch wildfire and become a cultural phenomenon, being referenced by characters on TV shows like Doogie Howser, M.D. and Full House and helping spawn additional rap-centric shows, particularly BET Network’s Rap City, which made its own debut in January 1989 and became Yo!’s chief competition.

As rap entered the ’90s, Yo! MTV Raps became even more of a cultural staple and was responsible for a number of landmark moments, making it must-see TV for rap fans young and old during its peak as the unofficial home of hip-hop. Unfortunately, Yo! MTV Raps would end its inaugural run on August 17, 1995, when the show aired its finale episode, which included a historic freestyle rap cipher featuring rap’s elite, including Rakim, KRS ONE, Erick Sermon, Chubb Rock, MC Serch and more. Indicative of the rap artists’ love and respect for Yo! MTV Raps and its hosts, the cipher has gone done as one of the most memorable in hip-hop history and ended the show with a bang.

Yo! MTV Raps would continue to air after being repackaged simply as Yo!, with a rotating cast of hosts replacing Fab 5 Freddy, Ed Lover, and Doctor Dre, but would ultimately be replaced by MTV Direct Effect, which became known as Sucker Free in 2006. However, the original incarnation of Yo! MTV Raps is still held near and dear to rap fans’ hearts and has even been passed down to the new generation in the era of YouTube. With the Yo! MTV Raps experience taking over the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York [today] June 1st in celebration of the brand’s 30th anniversary, Vibe spoke to a few of the show’s main players about the creation of the program, its impact on taking hip-hop global, competing with BET’s Rap City, their favorite memories and more.

The Creation of Yo! MTV Raps

Fab 5 Freddy: It was a guy named Peter Dougherty, who sadly passed away a couple of years ago, he was a friend on the downtown scene in New York. He knew moves I was making with the movie Wild Style, like, just doing my art, making moves on the downtown scene; having linked Blondie to the culture and that turned into a No. 1 record [“Rapture”] for her. So when the music was selling crazy with no marketing and no promotion, Peter was a big fan and he got with another dude that worked at MTV, named Ted Demme, who was also a fan of the music. And they were basically like ‘we should do something’ and MTV finally gave them a shot and Peter said I got just the person, I know him. He explained all the stuff I did, so they said ‘give it a shot.’ And that guy was me and the rest, they say, is history. It was the highest-rated show the minute it went on the air and that started the ball rolling. People tuned in, they liked what they saw. At that point in time – I like to point out – rap radio, where you could hear rap records on the radio all day, every day was nowhere in existence, except maybe AM radio in California, a station called K-DAY. But in New York, the shows were on the weekends for a couple of hours, so it was a revelation and people tuned in. The concept of my show, from the beginning, was I didn’t wanna be cooped up in the MTV studios like the other VJ’s that were on the air cause I just thought it was corny how that looked and they was on for real long spectrum of times. And Peter said, ‘How would you wanna do it?’ I said ‘Man, well I would be more comfortable being on the street, going to the basement, whether artists is making music in Harlem or the Bronx.’ See where they live, let’s go to Compton, let’s go to Liberty City in Miami, that’s what I did. I went to the 5th Ward [in] Houston with the Geto Boys, so I traveled around and took it to the streets and that was the blueprint and the formula that actually worked and spread the culture around the world.

Ed Lover And Doctor Dre Become Yo! MTV Raps’ Dynamic Duo

Fab 5 Freddy: What it was was they had asked me did I wanna go on and do it every day as well as every Saturday. And I thought about it and I thought, you know, that was nice, but I felt like I would be overexposed. And I’m not a funny kind of dude, like, I like a good joke, but Ed Lover and Doctor Dre had a perfect comedy idea. They did something different, like ‘let’s hang out in the clubhouse with them’ and artists came to see them, so they had a format that had some comedy and stuff and interviews and my thing was mostly moving around, traveling around the country and the world. So it was just a great experience to introduce people to different types of music and show the lifestyle, that was important, as opposed to radio, where you just hear it. On MTV Raps, you got to see it, as well as hear it and hear the artist explain their creative process. That was kind of a new innovation I think in general, as far as music, where an artist could talk about how they make beats. Like, I would be with Gang Starr at D&D Studios with Premier explaining his process, or with the Bomb Squad talking about how they put Public Enemy’s records together, those little things, to me, meant a lot cause I was mad curious about them as well, you know.

Ed Lover: I bugged Ted to death [to get on Yo! MTV Raps]. I knew Ted, Ted and I were friends outside of [Yo! MTV Raps]; I knew Ted since high school and we hung out together. His father is Episcopalian, my best friend’s mom is Episcopalian, they’re both parts of the Diocese of Queens and Long Island, so we used to actually go to religious retreats together, steal the church wine and go out and get drunk, so I knew Ted and I knew he knew his hip-hop because we used to talk about it at the time. We stayed with them at the house, I knew all of his friends that he went to college with, we had that bond and when I saw Ted was doing MTV Raps and I saw the credits, I was like ‘Shit, I know hip-hop. I need to get on this shit.’ Even from the very first pilot episode with Run-D.M.C., I started bugging the shit out of him when he decided to do a Fab show and I started watching that in ’88, I was like ‘damn, I need to be on this show.’ So I just kept on bugging him, ‘let me do a record report, c’mon, let me do a movie review, let me do something.’ And when they decided to do it daily, he called and said ‘you need to come down and audition for this’ and I was like hell yeah. Dre was on WBAU Radio with Chuck D [of Public Enemy] and ‘em, Spectrum City and all of that. And Dre was in college at Adelphi [University] doing his thing on the radio and I’m living in Queens, so we really didn’t get that radio station too well, maybe on one of those good nights where you can switch and if the antenna was right you could hear it. I met Dre at the audition for Yo! MTV Raps, Peter knew Dre, Ted Demme knew me. Ted and Peter are definitely the cavaliers of this show, they both passed away, unfortunately. Ted had the foresight cause he was already working with Fab on the weekend show and he wanted to give it a different look, so Ted saw the Abbott and Costello and he put me and Dre together.

Doctor Dre: Our history started when we met at Yo! MTV Raps. I also was the DJ for the Beastie Boys for a period of time and my group Original Concept, we wrote for Raising Hell with Run-D.M.C. and I was on the tour with them, we were on a song called “Proud To Be Black.” Along with releasing three singles on Def Jam, “Can You Feel It,” “Knowledge Me,” “Pump That Bass” and also “Charlie’s Benz,” along with BLP, Straight From the Basement of Kooley High! in 1987. I met Ed at the audition for Yo! MTV Raps after Peter Doughtery asked me to come in and discuss expanding the show to be a daily format, which Fab 5 Freddy said that he didn’t want to do that. So I had done a skit with my partner T-Money at my barbershop about haircuts and Peter took the tape to MTV and they liked it and the guy that was supposed to do the actual work on screen didn’t show up so I jumped in the chair and did it myself. He asked me if I was interested in wanting to host it and I kinda laughed it off and I said, ‘Nah, that’s kinda crazy. I’m not the type, I don’t even look like the MTV type, I’m just a typical black guy from Long Island, it doesn’t make any sense.’

So Peter introduced me to his production assistant at the time, Ted Demme, and I went down to his office and did an audition and when I walked down the hall, there was a skinny tall black guy sitting in a chair and I was like ‘Wow, I wonder what he’s here for’ and I did an audition with Ted and we had some laughs and we went back and forth and he told me he knew who I was and knew my work and what I had done to that point and he said ‘great, go back to Peter’s office’ and I went back to Peter’s office and he came back down the hall and he said ‘would you mind coming into my office again?’ When I did, the skinny black guy wasn’t there anymore and I go ‘Hmm, where did he go? ‘And I went in the office and he was there, ‘I want you to meet my friend Ed Lover. Ed Lover, this is Doctor Dre.’ He said ‘Yeah, I know you, you do WBAU The Operator Room, I heard your show before, you’re doing real cool,’ and I said ‘Cool.’ Ted said ‘Well, would you guys mind doing an audition, I got an idea.’ So we go ‘yeah,’ and we started joking around and we had never met before and didn’t know anything about he was doing dreadlocks that were hanging on Ted’s coat-rack and we picked ‘em up and put ‘em on and we did this whole Jamaican thing and Ted thought it was hysterical and grabbed a paper and ran down a hall and then Peter came and got me again and told me, ‘You got the job if you want it, it’s up to you.’ So Ted grabs me and brought me back in the office with Ed and said ‘I got an idea, I wanna do the Yo! MTV Raps Today as a daily show, but we wanna use co-hosts, would you two mind working with each other?’ We said ‘Yeah, let’s do it, why not? What could we lose?’ A week later, we shot the first week of shows and I asked Ted to put his turntable down from his office ‘cause I said I wanted to play music so I brought a bag of records and I told him ‘Ed, let’s do this.’ And the first week we did all kinds of crazy stuff, we had exercise day, we had hamburger day. I played music on the show, for the first time on any VJ segment in MTV, there was music behind hosts; we were never considered DJ’s, we were always considered hosts of MTV Raps. We shot everything in one day, we didn’t shoot the week, like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, we shot on one day and all five shows and we changed clothes on set cause we didn’t have a budget, we just did everything that we wanted to do.

Ed Lover: Dre and I had done something together on tape at the audition and I knew it right there. They filmed Dre, they filmed me, and they filmed us together, and I knew it right there. Soon as we did something on tape, the chemistry was just automatic. They were like ‘we already know.’ We programmed that show from the first time we aired that show to the last episode. Every video you saw on there, that was Doctor Dre and Ed Lover programming that.

Doctor Dre: At the time, there was someone sitting up in the grandstand they had at the time and we were like ‘Ted, who is that?’ And he went over there and found out and came back and said ‘hey, that’s Carole King.’ I said ‘the singer?’ so he says ‘yeah.’ We said ‘well can she come and be a guest on the show?’ And he went over and asked her, came back and said ‘sure, she’d do it,’ and I said ‘okay, c’mon on, bring her on then.’ So the first actual guest on Yo! MTV Raps Today was Carole King, the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter who has a hit show on Broadway today. We understood when we first went to do this thing, Ed and I agreed let’s be ourselves, don’t worry about trying to fit into the MTV view of that moment or what’s going on around us, we should just be ourselves and we’ll be okay.

Ed Lover: I was in awe. Fab’s a downtown, Danceteria area, all that lower-Manhattan, SoHo [guy]. Basquiat was one of his friends, Debbie Harry, Madonna, he’s a legend. If you knew anything about hip-hop, you knew who Fab 5 Freddy was. He was a graffiti artist first and my brother was a graffiti and he’s a legendary graffiti. Fab 5 Freddy was one of them motherfuckers when it came to graffiti I used to tag-along with my brother when he went to the layups in the Bronx and everybody would sign each other’s book and he was so excited and he was like ‘Yo, Fab 5 Freddy signed my book,’ so I was totally aware of who Fab 5 Freddy was. He was always cool, we always had a gracious relationship. Fab will drop a jewel on you in a minute, man, and he was always an ear that was there for you if you needed to talk to him about the inner-workings of MTV and how things worked, but shit, it was an honor and privilege for me to be around Fab.

Doctor Dre: Fab was a guy that was on the road, so Fab would go out to different artists and he had people coming in, but we begged to get on the road cause we wanted to see the impact of what Yo! MTV Raps really was and once we left New York to see the impact, we were like ‘Wow.’ Cause when we would walk down the street in the early days of Yo! [MTV Raps], no one cared cause no one saw us because it wasn’t being broadcast that way. But when I would go back home, on Long Island, people would recognize me like ‘Wait a minute, that’s Dre, I just saw you on TV,’ but when you went towards the west, headed to Queens and Brooklyn, they didn’t have it, so they had Ralph McDaniels and Video Music Box and Ralph and [DJ] Wiz did a hell of a job before we got on there. We were fans of theirs so that’s what also helped Ed and I develop what we wanted to do on MTV Raps, cause we knew other elements were out there.

Ed Lover: It was amazing. It’s a culture shock to go from who you are in ’87-’88 and by the time ’90-’91 rolls around, you’re famous. That’s..oh my God, that’s hard to handle. It’s difficult because it never happened before. To go from just being who you are at the family reunion to being the star of the family reunion. To go from just a regular guy at your high school reunion to everyone waiting with bated breath to see if you come to the high school reunion, at all, or how you interact with people. Same people that you knew from your neighborhood and you grew up with, people wanna take pictures of you all of the time and they want your autograph and to sign their shirt, it’s surreal, to say the least.

T-Money Joins The Yo! MTV Raps Family

Ed Lover: When we really started getting a lot of letters coming in and stuff, we decided to make T-Money the mailman. And from Yo! Mailman, [we] developed characters. T-Money is responsible for the Ed Lover dance, he invented that, he gave that to me. You can’t belittle what T-Money meant to MTV Raps. Yo! MTV Raps was really three of us, it was Ed Lover and Doctor Dre AND T-Money.

Doctor Dre: T-Money was my partner in Original Concept. We grew up together from fifth grade all the way ‘til this day. T used to work for Federal Express as a delivery person, so one day when I brought him up to MTV up to Ted, he had a FedEx jacket on and I said ‘Ted, I got an idea: we should make T-Money Yo! Mail Main,’ and he said ‘that’s a great idea.’ Cause we were getting all of this mail and were trying to figure out to read it on the air and what to do with it. So we put black tape over the FedEx label and he went out and became Yo! Mailman and then from doing Yo! Mailman, we expanded his character to do different characters on the show that became very funny and people liked it and we just kept going on with him. We didn’t have a budget to have anybody else come in so everything we did was with people we knew who happened to be there and everybody participated in making Yo! what it was. Gotta give him credit for coming with the Real Michael Jackson character, Birdman and all kinds of crazy thoughts. Ed came up with great characters too, and me, I just came up with the idea of keeping the music and making sure the show always had a liveliness to it and always making sure that we could entertain folks, so bringing T in was probably one of the best ideas we ever came up with. And again, no one was really getting paid, people were just doing it out of love. Even Ed kept his job when we first did Yo! MTV Raps, he was a security guard, so he would take the day off and come do the taping and have to come to work the same day. Me, I was working in a management office in the city so I could get away all of the time.

T-Money: I created this character called the Real Michael Jackson he was an orphan, he used to smoke cigarettes, he wore a lot of the gear for the ’70s. So what happened was while we were on set, nobody, except for the costume person, that I was gonna portray this character, so I put a bunch of stuff together. I had the whole costume myself, I had the high-heeled boots on, tight jeans on, the high-water pants. I had the blazer with The Real Michael Jackson on the back, the cigarette. It was really crazy and when I came out on set, I was just totally in character and everyone was on the set was dying laughing and that was a great moment for everybody and that took the show to another level.

Yo! MTV Raps vs. BET’s Rap City

Fab 5 Freddy: Rap City, I’ma be honest with you, Rap City was corny. Ralph McDaniels was local, but I grew up on Ralph. Ralph is the homie. BET, unfortunately, was always playing catch up at the time and always imitating things that MTV did, sadly, instead of innovating; I mean, at that point in time, I wanna point out. But yeah Money, we just did our thing, we just kept our heads down. I knew the blueprint and I wanted to share it with people and showed you where people lived, how they lived. Where they hang out and the things that they rap about and that was my version of Yo! MTV Raps and I was really honored that it took off like that the most amazing thing was how it spread the culture around the world Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, people started discovering hip-hop in all those continents and countries after seeing Yo! MTV Raps someway, somehow, so it was a blessing.

Ed Lover: Rap City couldn’t compare to Yo! MTV Raps, everybody knows that even they know it. Rap City could not compare to Yo! MTV Raps, in no aspect, MTV’s reach was far greater than BET. MTV was an international platform. Shit, there was a lot of people, where I lived at in Queens at the time, that didn’t have MTV in predominantly African-American neighborhoods, they ain’t have that so you know they weren’t gonna get BET. So we didn’t even think about it. We noticed it, we saw it, like I got the Ed Lover dance, now The Mayor is trying to do his own dance, I always looked at it as a cheap imitation of Yo! MTV Raps. That’s what I always looked at it as.

T-Money: When we started doing our show, people in New York were able to see what Luke was doing, people in California were able to see what New Yorkers were doing, you know. We got to put together a show that gave the world an opportunity to see what everybody in other places were doing and how they were transforming their brand of hip-hop and how they were growing.

Doctor Dre: Cable wasn’t around like that, but the first people we used to watch our videos was New York Hot Tracks and that was big for us. When we started, BET wasn’t doing rap music, as a matter of fact, they weren’t playing rap music, they were doing Donnie Simpson and Video Soul. That’s what it was, it took after Yo! MTV Raps started to become the colossal attention-getter that it was getting.
Classic Yo! MTV Raps Moments and Guest Appearances

Fab 5 Freddy: The first thing that comes to mind is interviewing N.W.A. in Compton that introduced them to America. Introducing Shabba Ranks to my audience, being in Jamaica in the ghettos with Shabba and many other artists down there was always dope. Queen Latifah was somebody I got signed and directed her first two videos, so having her on my show blowing up as a strong, positive female artist, that was dope. I remember doing shows with Dapper Dan in the beginning, covering the fashion aspect of the culture before any hip-hop brand or urban street-wear happened, there was my man Dapper Dan on 125th and  we would pull up in there with him and we would break down how he was making the Louis [Vuitton], the MCM stuff for cats that was street corner pharmacists, as well as top rappers at the time that had that paper. Running through Philly and eating cheese-steaks with Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. So those were all kinda standout moments that people had never seen.

Ed Lover: James Brown, Bill Cosby, Run-D.M.C., Shaq, and Tribe, in no particular. And non-artists I would mention would be Mel Gibson.

DJ Skribble: The most memorable moment for me obviously was the last episode where I got to DJ for everybody, from KRS-One to Craig Mack to Eric B. & Rakim, [MC] Serch, EPMD, Redman, Method Man. It was a who’s who on that last episode and I was a maestro and that was one of the most memorable moments in hip-hop for me, especially for the Yo! MTV Raps brand and the show and if you look at the film, the lineup of this show is basically everybody that was on that last episode, give or take, but hopefully, we can recreate that magic. I can’t give away too much of the show, but it’s gonna be some surprises along the way, so I’m trying to make that a new memorable moment.

Ed Lover: I just felt it was amazing, man. When you’re living in the moment, you’re kinda looking around like ‘wow, this is crazy.’ I still have that same feeling, like ‘wow, this is, like really really crazy.’ What else could we have done with all of those guys on set but a freestyle session? [laughs] That’s where they came from, that’s where they made their bones. I don’t think you can do that today because a lot of dudes can freestyle, but that’s where these guys made their bones like these are real emcees, these are not play-play dudes, these are not dudes who got ghostwriters writing hit records for them. this is at the point where hip-hop is really starting to explode and these guys are really starting to make money, like big money, money they can live off for the rest of their life. That next era was coming in, you had Biggie, Nas, and Jay, the money started going up so hip-hop was becoming more mainstream around ’95-’96 so to have these dudes who are poets in their own rights all bless the mic, I think it took a while for me to look back on it and see it over and over on YouTube or Vimeo or whatever to be like ‘wow, that was epic.’ But I think in the moment, you’re having fun, you’re passing the mic around, you gotta lead to commercial, it’s really hard to sit back and enjoy it while you’re working.

The Yo! MTV Raps: 30th Anniversary Experience

Ed Lover: It came to life with me seeing and sharing my thoughts and views with Charlie Stettler. Everybody is working and everybody is out there getting it, man. It’s Public Enemy, it’s Scarface, Salt-N-Pepa back and then Kid ‘N Play are actually back on the road and it’s like you’re doing and you’re hosting all of these shows going around. And I was like okay, they got this I Love The ’90s Tour, they got all of this stuff going on and I’m like, well Yo! MTV Raps was a catalyst for all of this shit – or a lot of it. And I was like ‘dude, we need to go to MTV and get the rights to use the name Yo! MTV Raps,’ whatever we gotta do, a split with MTV, because my idea for it initially was this Yo! MTV Raps tour would go around the country and then eventually around the world. And every different region we were in, whoever was hot in that region that was on Yo! MTV Raps would perform on that show, so you would have no lulls in the show. And initially, it took Charlie a long time, he still has a lot of connections at MTV, and MTV cleared our right and here we are, the 30 Year Anniversary of Yo! MTV Raps. And we’re kicking it off at the Barclays and hopefully, we’ll be able to tour the country and then probably the world.

Soundcheck for #YoMtvRaps 30th anniversary show tonight on planet Brooklyn… NYC

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Fab 5 Freddy: Well, Charlie Stettler, he’s a longtime hip-hop manager and promoter, he goes back to the era of the Fat Boys and was instrumental in the Fat Boys blowing up and taking them into movies. So Charlie Stettler, who’s been close to me, he managed Ed Lover and Doctor Dre during the Yo! MTV Raps period and then took them on to radio and stuff, he hollered at me and said ‘look, I’m trying to do something, honor the show, pay respects to the whole thing and do a concert, ‘I said ‘hey man, that’s a good idea, I’m all with you.’ So Charlie Stettler is the man who had the idea to put it together and get the ball rolling and June 1, it’s going down, baby.

DJ Skribble: It’s been a labor of love for the last bunch of months of trying to create an experience. MTV played videos, so I wanted to make this a whole big experience where not only are the artists performing, but you’re gonna see this whole big visual thing behind them to celebrate that era of hip-hop and that’s what I want people to take away from the show. So you’re firing on all your senses when you come to see this show, there are videos with graphics attached to it and different things are gonna be happening. We remade the set up to the old set and Ed and Dre and Fab are gonna be all on stage, just like it was the regular show. Think of it coming to a live version of Yo! MTV Raps.

Ed Lover: Oh yeah, hell yeah. I believe that everyone that’s on this show June 1. will grab that mic all together on that stage and give it their all, I think that’s gonna happen. They better have enough microphones cause I’ma try my best to make that happen and best believe that there will be a lot of people that’s not scheduled to actually be performing on that show that will be there that are part of the celebration and we will absolutely and do their thing also.

Yo! MTV Raps’ Legacy As A Cultural Phenomenon

Fab 5 Freddy: It was amazing, man. Some of the most touching stuff that still happens to this day is somebody from a foreign country–like, I just met this chick from Russia who was telling me that people she was related to in other parts of Europe would tape my show and mail my VHS tapes to Russia and like her whole neighborhood, they would come and watch the videos or whatever and got done with the culture that way. So those type of stories, people in Africa getting a chance to see the show and diving in without knowing the English language, it still blows my mind ‘til this day.

T-Money: I feel blessed and extremely fortunate that the Yo! MTV Rap brand is still carry on a strong name today. I feel blessed and very happy that we’re actually able to put together this event. We established the brand to people who never had a chance to watch MTV Raps or be a part of that era, so it brings a brand new appreciation of what it had to offer and what it did for hip-hop culture as a whole. And on June 1, it’s not just a celebration, it’s essential to the growth of hip-hop, the music has grown.

DJ Skribble: It was just a free-for-all, laid-back; it was like you came to Ed and Dre’s house or you and Fab 5 Freddy went on the road to interview people. It was just pure and we let America into the lives of these hip-hop artists that, before Yo! MTV Raps didn’t really have a voice on television. So that’s what made the show so important and then moving forward today, what we created and what Ed Dre and Fab created is something that has never been duplicated to this day.

Fab 5 Freddy: Well, you know, it’s interesting. Obviously, things are so different now, everything is digital. I’ll sometimes catch a cat [while] surfing around, looking up and down the YouTube stream and I’ll see people who have their own little shows where they do things that are interesting. It’s not so much that they’re following what I did, but cause I was in this space first and I think I did do what I did well, it’s something for people would people can go on YouTube and take a peek at and I see examples of people picking up on little things I would do that really got into the creative process. A lot of times, people, they don’t pull the process apart because if you did, you would find out that a lot of artists are really copying each other, so what I would try to do on my show would be to find the people that are really innovating and creating the mold, as opposed to following the mold, you feel me. I think one of the things about the Yo! MTV Raps, if you peep it, we didn’t want anybody that sounded like somebody else, you feel me, cause I notice. So we were trying to find people that were going places no one had gone before and gave them a chance to break it down. So yeah, people are doing great things out there because of the technology, so it’s a whole different playing field.

Doctor Dre: I think it’s an honor to have people wanna come to celebrate thirty years of the Yo! MTV Raps experience at the Barclays on June 1, that’s an honor and a blessing, we didn’t think that we would get thirty days. So for us to now go out and give you a glimpse of what we did for eight years,  the magic is basically just smiling and saying look, this is still relevant to people and people still care about it. I equate that night to the Motown 25th Anniversary when Michael Jackson walked out doing “Billie Jean” and showed the world he was a Thriller, so you never know what’s gonna happen come June 1.