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Video Music Box was the first Hip-Hop music video TV show

In June of 1983, Video Music Box launched on WNYC-TV in New York City and became the first hip-hop music video TV show. The show aired the freshest hip-hop music videos to the people of New York City. Video Music Box was created by “Uncle” Ralph McDaniels, an engineer at WNYC-TV and Lionel “Vid Kid” Martin. The show started five years before Yo! MTV Raps and ran on WNYC-TV (channel 31) until 1996, when the TV program moved to WNYE-TV (channel 25) after WNYC-TV was sold by the City of New York. The show’s theme song is “Five Minutes of Funk” by Whodini.

Ralph McDaniels and his partner Lionel “Vid Kid” Martin also directed music videos under their company Classic Concepts Video Productions, the first black-owned music video production company. They directed Nas’ music video for “It Ain’t Hard To Tell,” Wu-Tang Clan’s music video for “C.R.E.A.M.,” Black Moon’s music video for “Who Got The Props,” Supa Cat’s music video for “Ghetto Red Hot” and many more.

Music video director Hype Williams got his start at Classic Concepts Video Productions. The show helped break the careers of Whodini, Fat Joe, Jay-ZWu-Tang Clan, Nas, Mobb Deep, LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, The Notorious B.I.G., and many more.

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