KNOW YA HIP HOP: Ralph McDaniels, Fab Five Freddy, Sway Calloway, And More

Learn about those pioneers of Hip-Hop on television and the legendary Beat Street auditions.

On November 20, 2021, the Universal Hip Hop Museum and are set to celebrate the original rap music VJs, who brought Hip-Hop to us through television.


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The international proliferation of Hip Hop culture was not only through the audio consumption of dope music but also through the visual representations of the music videos and the VJs that introduced the electric artists of the culture that has defined our lives.

We have to first give respect to Uncle Ralph McDaniels, who gave us the first Hip Hop media outlet ever with his Video Music Box show.

Fab 5 Freddy broke down the doors with ‘Yo! MTV Raps’ for people like Doctor Dre, Ed Lover, and Sway Calloway to take their radio experience to MTV and Chris Thomas (The Mayor) did that for Prime, Prince Dejour, Joe Clair, Big Lez, Big Tigger, Mad Linx, J-Nicks, Q-45 with ‘Rap City.’ Their contributions even opened the doors for AJ & Free at 106 & Parks.

Those pioneering faces on TV varied in representation and were the precursors to every music show (streamed, televised, on Tik Tok or IG) that features rap music, style, and influence.

There would be no Joe Budden Podcast, Drink Champs, or DJ Akademiks without their initial grind. Salute.

And shoutout to Michael Holman on Hip Hop’s 1st tv episode with Graffiti Rock.

This “Know Ya Hip Hop” Moment has been brought to you by @uhhmuseum x @allhiphopcom

To support YOUR museum, text UHHM2024 to 707070 or go to

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Auditions for the Hip Hop movie “Beat Street” were held on November 21, 1983, at the Roxy in Manhattan, also the setting for many of the film’s dance scenes.

The movie was produced by Harry Belafonte and paid a whopping sum of $500 for the script. After he secured the screenplay, he needed a cast that was authentic and would resonate with the streets. So, the call went out for groups, solo boogiers, MCs, poppers, DJs, and breakers to try out for a part in the musical.

Jazzy Jay and Bambaataa were among the film’s consultants and also made cameos in the film.

This classic flyer masterpiece was created by the one and only Phase 2.

@uhhmuseum X @allhiphopcom

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