For one night only, MTV2 is bringing back “Yo! MTV Raps!,” the show that turned on a generation of MTV viewers to a mysterious new musical form called hip-hop.
The show, which originally aired from August 1988 through 1995, helped bring once little-known acts like Ice-T, N.W.A., A Tribe Called Quest and Public Enemy to households across America as hip-hop exploded in popularity. The return comes after the revival of such MTV shows as “Beavis and Butt-head” and “120 Minutes.”
The show will return as a 30-minute retrospective called “Yo! MTV Raps Classic Cuts,” and will on MTV2 immediately after the first-ever “Sucker Free Awards” on Sunday, Dec. 4.
The awards will air at 11 p.m., followed by the “Yo!” special at midnight. The special will feature the artists behind three hip-hop classics: A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario,” Geto Boys’ “My Mind’s Playing Tricks on Me,” and Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day.” (“Good Day” just happens to mention “Yo! MTV Raps” by name.)
The special will feature former hosts Fab 5 Freddy, Ed Lover and Dr. Dre, and hip-hop stars from the past and present. They include A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, Geto Boys’ Scarface, and Ice Cube, in addition to well Wiz Khalifa, DJ Khaled, Questlove, Busta Rhymes, Mac Miller, Machine Gun Kelly, Young Jeezy, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Phife, Fat Joe, Common, Mike Epps, Ice T, Meek Mill, Tyga, and Naughty By Nature.
DJ Premier will remix the iconic “Yo! MTV Raps” theme song for the special.
“It’s a great moment to be re-connected with Yo! and examine the music that had a role in introducing hip-hop to music lovers globally,” Ed Lover said. “By looking back at these classic songs in hip-hop it becomes clear that hip-hop would inevitably transcend distance and generations.”
“In this Classic Cuts special, people will go back to a seminal time in hip-hop which many have called the ‘Golden Era’ – resulting in records that are as meaningful today as they were back then,” said Fab 5 Freddy, the original host of the show. “In order to appreciate how far hip-hop has come, you have to pay respect to the songs and artists that helped catapult the genre from a small community of fans to world domination.”