Exclusive: Ralph McDaniels Reflects on the Creation of ‘Video Music Box’ 

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December has kicked off HIP HOP 50, its multiyear, cross-platform programming initiative celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop in collaboration with entertainment company Mass Appeal. The first release of HIP HOP 50 is You’re Watching Video Music Box, a documentary that chronicles the longest-running music vide show in the world, Video Music Box. The film is directed by Emmy and Grammy Award-winning music legend and Mass Appeal partner Nasir “Nas” Jones.

The documentary gives a look into visionary DJ and MC Ralph McDaniels and the show that has become a Hip Hop mainstay since its 1983 launch. Uncle Ralph serves as a leading Hip Hop influencer, tastemaker and documentarian, showcasing and debuting Hip Hop videos and introducing viewers to future stars like Nas, Jay Z, LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj, and Fat Joe long before they were icons of the genre.

Speaking with The Source, Ralph McDaniels affectionately referred to as Uncle Ralph, reflected on the creation of Video Music Box and the impact it had on Hip-Hop for the last couple of decades.

Video Music Box was one of the first platforms that provided a route for Hip-Hop music. Looking back, how does it feel to be intricate to the success and development of the genre over these last almost 50 years?

Ralph McDaniels: It doesn’t even seem like almost 50 years. It seems like we just started, so there’s so much to do in hip hop and documentaries. You know, You’re Watching Video Music Box is an educational aspect of what hip hop is all about. It’s super important. So we still have a long way to go, but I mean it’s humbling. It’s humbling to watch. So yeah, so this is pretty awesome.

You have some iconic rap moments in the stash. What let you know that this documentary was the proper time to let them out?

For me, Video Music Box, it’s the legacy. As you get older in hip hop, you start thinking about not being missed in the conversation. So let’s start to put some of this stuff out. For people that really follow the show, they’ve been aware of it, but the rest of the world doesn’t know as much. So we just felt it was the right time. We’d been working on this project for almost like three, four years now. And I’m glad that it dropped.

You worked with Nas on this and you helped introduce him to the world. So in a way, this is kind of like a full-circle moment. How was it connected with him for this documentary and how did you combine both of your creative geniuses to tell a story?

I think spiritually we’re in the same place. He’s a guy that I first met in ’94 and there are not too many artists that you keep in contact with over the years. For him to tell me that he wanted to direct this was very humbling because with the extent that he’s gone in his career, it was incredible to me we can still have the same kind of conversation.

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That energy shows between you in the one-on-one interview in the documentary. How does it feel to be on the other side of that, knowing that you’ve spoken to so many artists over time, or even in this conversation, how does it feel for you to be the focal point of an interview?

For me being interviewed is always awkward, but to be interviewed for a subject that has something to do with me, like, you know, my life and Video Music Box is even worse. And then it’s difficult to sit and listen to people’s questions if they don’t know about me. For Nas, he knows everything about me. He knows things that I forgot about cause he was a kid. So I had a big impression on him. I think that’s what made it easy for me to sit and talk to Nas because you know, there was no motive behind it. I didn’t feel like somebody was trying to find something out but it was purely from a cultural standpoint.

In the beginning of Video Music Box, you didn’t have the intent on being a personality, a celebrity on camera, any of that, but you eventually made it on screen. I know that there’s a transition period to that and it makes you more public. How did you adapt to that?

Adapting to the camera is not easy. I come from a place where I was a DJ and I worked in clubs. I just let the music do it, you know? So I really was just taking what I was doing and putting it on screen and I just didn’t want to be seen at all. But when the cameras started rolling and it was a little awkward at first. I still walk around New York, like a regular New Yorker, with no security and you know, I want to be free. I want to be able to touch people.

To that point, in the documentary, hip-hop figures speak to you as a comforting personality and how you adapted the Uncle Ralph persona. How were you able to make complete strangers or people that you’re meeting for the first time have comfort and make it resonate in the on-camera product?

Yeah, that’s the funny part, right? When I’m in the club in the beginning and we’re doing shout-outs and I don’t even know these people. I think that’s the thing about the spirituality of Hip Hop. When we somehow connect with each other and we don’t even know each other, but in that moment we are with each other.

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In the documentary, we see that you were attracted to TV by your uncle who did James Bond movies. You were attracted to music by shows like American Bandstand and Soul Train, but nobody thought Hip Hop would last. What made you decide to buy into that at the early stage and just basically push everything in?

It was me really seeing the impact that Russell Simmons had on the music industry. How Russell Simmons and I grew up not too far from each other when I moved to Queens. I went with him to a record company one day and I saw how he was accepted. People loved what he did and it was all about the music. I was like, wow this is pretty interesting. From there I knew that there was something that was special about Hip Hop. I’m a little bit older than the beginning of Hip Hop. When he started in his pocket, he was probably two years younger than me. So, I was aware of it, but it wasn’t until I saw what Russell was doing that I was like, man, this thing is really, really taken off.

Today you can use YouTube, cameras are more accessible, social media is prevalent. How did you find the specific people to get in contact to make this an actual thing? And how did you obtain the resources and the access to everywhere that you were?

When I graduated from college and was moving around, I was a cameraman. They told us, look, if you want to use the camera on the weekends, you can use it. I was like, really? So we had accessibility to this equipment and we didn’t know what to do with it, you know? That’s how we started going through these different spots and recording Hip Hop artists. Not just Hip Hop, but R&B, whatever it was that was popping in New York at the time. I grew up in Brooklyn, a heavy Caribbean community so I was following the reggae artists and the silk artists and whatever was going on. That’s how we got access to get these things on TV. We were just shooting it and then started messing around with the editing and we thought hey, this should be a show. And that’s how it started.

It’s another point in the documentary where people would be where you were. So let’s say if there was a show on a Wednesday, you spoke and you hung out, you interviewed, you caught what was going on and then they’ll turn around and it’s available for them to watch on Friday, Saturday. But the people weren’t there to see you behind the scenes of preparing the show, what were those days like?

That was hectic because I could shoot on a Friday and I had to get that out, like right away, because it was still, you know, fresh in people’s minds and so that we can beat anybody else to it. It wasn’t like now, like YouTube on instantly on Instagram. So people are like how is it possible that they have this on TV already? Like three days later. Everybody wants to be first. We wanted to beat whether it was at a party or if I had a new Nas video.

You are a Hip-Hop journalism pioneer. Looking back at it, did you see it that way, that you would be a leading person in this form of media?

I think so. I remember when there was a black person or Latino person that on TV, you would like, oh, I’m happy because of somebody that looks like me. So you paid attention to everything that they did because they must be really good. I came in the steps of Don Cornelius’s and how people of that stature presented themselves so I knew what it would be.

For someone who’s watching this documentary and what’s the most dominant piece that you want them to walk away with?

I think the most dominant piece that I wouldn’t want them to get walk away with is to just be true to the culture and be true to yourself. Be mindful of who’s watching and understand that whatever you’re putting on the TV or whatever on the screen or streaming or whatever it is, other people have to like it. I was really just presenting the other people, I kind of stayed out of the way. I didn’t want to disrupt the communication between the message and the people.

Learn how you can watch You’re Watching Video Music Box via Showtime.

The post Exclusive: Ralph McDaniels Reflects on the Creation of ‘Video Music Box’ appeared first on The Source.

Michigan School Shooter Ethan Crumbley’s Parents Found Hiding In Detroit Basement 

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The parents of Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old accused of killing four people and injuring seven others were arrested. They were found early this morning hiding in a basement saying they feared for their safety. Crumbley planned to shoot up his school and followed through Tuesday at Oxford High School. His parents were arrested early Saturday morning and face charges related to the deadly attack. James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley seemed to be involved and acknowledged his hideous crime.

Police say James Crumbley purchased a 9MM semi-automatic handgun just days before his son’s shooting spree at Oxford High School. Ethan Crumbley reportedly showed off the murder weapon on social media in the days leading up to the shooting at Oxford High School. Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced four involuntary manslaughter charges against the Crumbleys.

Charges were filed against the couple after prosecutors say his mom texted him the day of the shooting to say “don’t do it” and “learn not to get caught.”
Detroit Police Chief James White confirmed during an early-morning news conference that James and Jennifer Crumbley “appeared to be hiding” in the basement of a commercial building where officers took them into custody, WJBK reported.

“They were very distressed as they were walking out,” White said.

White also confirmed that officers were acting on a tip when they converged on the Bellevue Street building and that video surveillance corroborated the tip. “There was video that had one of the fugitives entering the commercial building and hiding in a room,” White said.

The couple is expected to be arraigned later Saturday morning.

The post Michigan School Shooter Ethan Crumbley’s Parents Found Hiding In Detroit Basement appeared first on The Source.

Today in Hip-Hop History: Brand Nubian Dropped Their Debut Album ‘One For All’ 31 Years Ago 

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On December 4, 1990, Brand Nubian released their classic Five Mic debut album One For All on Elektra Records. Boasting production Dante Ross, Skeff Anslem, the SD 50s(Stimulated Dummies), Jam as well as their own hands on the boards, Brand Nubian arguably released one of the most influential debut albums in Hip Hop history. The Source Magazine’s Record Report of All For One gave the LP a perfect rating, stating AFO, “overflows with creativity, originality, and straight-up talent. […] the type of record that captures a whole world of music, rhymes, and vibes with a completely new style.”

Over 30 years ago, Grand Puba Maxwell of the Masters Of Ceremony linked up with the Gods Derrick X and Lord Jamar Allah, recruited X’s childhood pal Alamo as the DJ to form the four-man crew of Brand Nubian. The crew pioneered the sound of the Gods, infusing the knowledge and wisdom of the 5% Nation in their lyrical content and used the music to attract many young Black youths of that era to Black consciousness. Together the quartet has only released this album, but Lord J and Derrick X, who is now known as Sadat X, have dropped two additional projects under the Brand Nubian flag. Even with all of their respective solo endeavors, their collective impact on the culture of the rap game is forever embedded in the fabric of Hip Hop.

Salute to Puba, Lord Jamar, Sadat, Alamo, Stud Dougee(RIP), Dante Ross, Skeff and everyone at Elektra who was involved in bringing the people such an important part of Hip Hop history!

The post Today in Hip-Hop History: Brand Nubian Dropped Their Debut Album ‘One For All’ 31 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

Today In Hip Hop History: UGK’s Pimp C Passed Away 14 Years Ago 

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On this date in 2007, Chad Butler aka Pimp C of Houston’s legendary Underground Kingz along with Bun B, lost his life from an overdose of promethazine syrup, which is called “lean” on the streets, in West Hollywood, California. He was only 33 years old. Even though his physical presence is gone and sorely missed, many artists still pay homage to Sweet Jones through his music and dedication to him of their own music.

Born Chad Lamont Butler on December 29, 1973, in Port Arthur, Texas, Pimp C emerged into the Hip Hop scene with his partner Bun B to make the Underground Kingz (UGK) one of the greatest rap groups to come out of the Dirty South and undoubtedly the best rap duo from Texas.

In his illustrious three-decade-long career, the Pimp released nine UGK albums, six full-length solo albums and even a posthumous book Sweet Jones: Pimp C’s Trill Life Story by Ozone Magazine owner Julia Beverly, which dropped last summer.

RIP PIMP C!!!

The post Today In Hip Hop History: UGK’s Pimp C Passed Away 14 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

Drake Crowned Biggest Rapper Of 2021 By Spotify 

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Drake holds the Spotify crown.

Drake is continuing to break streaming records. Spotify announced Wednesday that the Toronto native is the biggest rapper on the streaming platform this year all thanks to his latest album, “Certified Lover Boy.” 

Adele stated that her friendships with Drake is one of her biggest gifts.

On Spotify’s “Top Artists of 2021 Global” list, Drake comes in at number four behind Bad Bunny, Taylor Swift and BTS. 

The only other rapper on the list is the late Juice WRLD, who closes it out at Number 10.

This news follows the announcement of bringing together Drake and Ye at the Los Angeles Coliseum on December 9 for a Free Larry Hoover Benefit Concert.

Share your thoughts with us on social media.

The post Drake Crowned Biggest Rapper Of 2021 By Spotify appeared first on The Source.

Nelly Gives 12-Year-Old Girl His Jacket At Concert 

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Fans of Nelly are loving a reaction he had with a 12-year-old girl after a concert in Kentucky.

Tiffany Harris and her daughter Caitlyn met the rapper as he was boarding his tour bus after the concert. Nelly was worried about the 12-year-old standing in the cold, so he draped his bandana-patterned jacket over her shoulders.

“It was just so sweet the way he hugged her. He must have seen that she was cold, because he took his jacket off and draped it around her.”

The girl’s mother posted the video of the adorable encounter with the “Hot In Herre” artist, writing that her daughter was “living out her dreams.”

The entire exchange was captured on Tiktok and has since been viewed over seven million times.

Share your thoughts with us on social media.

The post Nelly Gives 12-Year-Old Girl His Jacket At Concert appeared first on The Source.

ICYMI: Common and Tiffany Haddish Break Up Due to Being “Just Too Busy” 

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Busy lifestyles have cost Tiffany Haddish and Common their relationship. PEOPLE reports the two split because “both of them are just too busy for a serious relationship.”

Haddish first confirmed their relationship in August 2020 while appearing on Steve-O’s podcast. The two met on the set of the 2019 film, The Kitchen.

Common glowingly spoke of the relationship, citing that it made him a more “evolved” person to PEOPLE Every Day podcast.

“I think one of the important things about relationships for me has been to really know myself more and love myself and be able to express the things that I want,” he said. “I’ve evolved and gotten to that place.”

The post ICYMI: Common and Tiffany Haddish Break Up Due to Being “Just Too Busy” appeared first on The Source.

ICYMI: Kevin Hart Details Why Becoming a Billionaire is About More Than the Money 

Kevin Hart is currently making the runs around the media circuit in support of his new hit Netflix Series, True Story. Hart pulled up on Gayle King at CBS Mornings to speak about the series but also revealed his aim to be a billionaire before he turns 45.

Currently 42 years old, Hart let King know that the goal isn’t about the money, but instead the title.

“It’s not about the money,” Hart said. “It’s about the title of a billionaire. What does that mean, how did you get there? What was your road to getting there? The point is about the other Black kids that are from where I’m from, from the inner cities, the places that are told that so much is impossible. Well, you can see it is possible. You can have a real eye-sight of someone that did it, that can talk to you in a way that you understand and you know.”

The post ICYMI: Kevin Hart Details Why Becoming a Billionaire is About More Than the Money appeared first on The Source.

ICYMI: Adele Set for 2022 Residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas 

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Adele is ready to take over Vegas. The 30 singer has announced an exclusive residency at Caesar Palace’s Colosseum Hotel. The residency will beg Friday, January 21, 2022, and is titled “Weekends With Adele.”

Each weekend, Adele will perform two shows all the way through April 16. Variety reports, the announcement comes after a massive first week of sales for the superstar singer. Her first-week units were 839,000 easily surpassing any other album released this year. The album debuted at No. 1 in 30 countries and became the top-selling album of 2021 in three days.

The Colosseum has a capacity of 4,100 and will miss only one weekend, Feb 18-19. You can see the announcement below.

The post ICYMI: Adele Set for 2022 Residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas appeared first on The Source.

ICYMI: Megan Thee Stallion & Cash App Team for Limited-Edition “Hot Girl Enterprise” Clothing... 

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Megan Thee Stallion and CashApp has announced the launch of a limited-edition “Hot Girl Enterprise” Cash by Cash App apparel collection, which is currently available for purchase at shop.cash.app.

Megan and Cash App partnered to co-design the collection, which includes a reversible bucket hat, a T-shirt, and 1 bike short. All proceeds from Megan and Cash App’s collaboration on the clothing collection will go toward supporting charitable projects focused on education, housing, and health and wellness in Megan’s hometown of Houston as well as across the globe.

“I’m really proud of this apparel collection with Cash App,” Megan said. “Not only did we create a fierce and stylish look for my Hotties, but we’re also giving back to communities in need in a meaningful way.”

The collection follows Megan and Cash App partnering for a $1 million give away of stock to advocate the importance of financial literacy. As part of the announcement, she also released an investing tutorial on YouTube with Cash App called “Investing for Hotties,” where she educated viewers on various financial concepts, such as dollar-cost averaging and diversification.

You can see the collection below.

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The post ICYMI: Megan Thee Stallion & Cash App Team for Limited-Edition “Hot Girl Enterprise” Clothing Collection appeared first on The Source.

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Album from  Tayla Made Maserati     Coming Soon

The Highly Anticipated Album from Tayla Made Maserati Coming Soon

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