ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ralph McDaniel's Video Music Box

Updated on August 29, 2019
Ralph McDaniels
Ralph McDaniels

By the Mid-1970's Hip-Hop began to take the country by storm as an unstoppable music force, and although there was a resistance by the "established" music industry to push-back on what was seen as a "craze", born on the streets of New York and played out by inner-city youth with a sense of national pride, hip-hop would become the most widely listened to and purchased music in American pop culture in the 21st century, out selling every other music genre in history.

In the 70's, inner-city kids were discovering new ways to lend voice musically to the highs and lows of life and sharing their stories in rhyme over dance tracks. This was a scary proposition for the establishment, much in the same way that the 50's Rock-N-Roll music embraced the Rhythm and Blues that was largely played on the other side of the tracks, the uncertainty of what ghetto life influences would have on middle America was the real craze.

And like a hurricane coming on shore, there could be no denying of this music's surge. By the time the industry coined the genre as "Rap Music" and making Kurtis Blow the first rap artist to sign a major record deal in 1978, hip-hop music was born. Not because the industry all of a sudden had a change of heart and embraced rap music, but because of people like Ralph McDaniels who created a platform to support this music with a video show, broadcasting it to those in the inner-city and to kids everywhere within viewing range. Video Music Box was created.

Now in it's 36th year, Video Music Box is the longest running video music platform of it's kind. Daniels' show has featured every major hip-hop artist to ever pick-up a mike to spit rhymes.

I caught-up with Ralph to discuss Video Music Box's history and it's future along with his views on the status of Hip-Hop music today.


Q&A w/Ralph McDaniels

Q) Ralph, last year on July 7th, 2018, you celebrated your 35th year with Video Music Box, certainly the longest running show of it's kind that features Hip-Hop artists. What gave you the idea to start Video Music Box back then and what was the political climate like concerning the state of Hip-Hop music at that time?


A) I was always a lover of music and the idea came when some early video performances of R&B ,Rock and Reggae artist were sent to the TV station . There were only a few Hip Hop videos at that time. The Independent labels didn't have the budget for Hip Hop and the major labels didn't believe yet. I decided to compile the best of what we had and eventually came Video Music Box.


Q) Would it be fair to say that Video Music Box has featured just about every well known hip hop artist of the day?



A) Yes we worked with all the major Hip Hop , Reggae and R&B artists directly. In the beginning all they had was VMB for the visuals.


Q) Is there one hip-artist that sorta got away, that you would like to have on the show, past or present?

A) I would like to work with Chance The Rapper.



Q) The show is primarily a local New York show, but it's influence and impact has been felt throughout the country. Do you feel that is correct, and why do you think so?

A) Yes we are local, but everything happens in New York. We broke artist from Miami, Los Angeles and Atlanta. Most of those artists were not being broadcast in there region, so they had to come to NY. We have a big influence globally , because anything coming out of New York is hot.



Q) Tell our readers a little bit about your start in the business, and who were some of your mentors in the industry?

A) I love music shows, concerts and was a fan of Soul Train , American Bandstand and local NY radio DJs Gary Byrd, Fred Buggs and Frankie Crocker.



Q) Okay, tough question, do you have a particularly favorite hip-hop artist of all-time, and who are some of the rappers in the game today that you like?

A) I always answer this with Eric B and Rakim..I still love Classic Hip Hop Big Daddy Kane , Treach of Naughty by Nature, KRS-1, Jay Z and others. I think the game has changed and what Cardi B and others are doing is amazing.


Q) I recall a time when the recording industry and media critics questioned the longevity of Rap music, and said it would fade out just like disco did; and yet today, the influence of hip-hop music is in just about every genre of American pop culture (TV commercials, movies, cross-over music genres, etc.); in fact - I believe it was Billboard Magazine - reported that hip-hop music is the most listened to and purchased music of all the genres of music. Why do you think this is?


A) Yes Hip Hop was not accepted by many in the industry in the beginning. but once you went to the venues/ jams and saw it presented , young executives new it was special. Young people bring a new energy to the genre, so you have to pay attention for the next wave.


Q) Where do you see the future of hip-hop - I understand that there is an industry shift now back to R&B music, as if the two cannot co-exist or something - what's your take on this and what do you feel the next phase of hip-hop is headed?


A) I think melodies in R&B songs can be appealing to young people.


Q) So, if I am a rap artist today and I want to get my music on seen on Video Music Box, can I do so? How does one submit or reach out to you?

A) Oh absolutely you can reach me on social media @videomusicbox , but the content must be clean for broadcast.


Q) Final question, and this is my standard last question I ask all of my featured celebs. If you were giving the commencement speech at NYU, music grad class of 2020, what would your message be to those young people about pursuing their dreams in music, or just about life now as an adult?

A) Hip Hop has always been about do you. Organize your thoughts and present something fresh.



Thank you Ralph for this interview and allowing our readers to know more about you and Video Music Box! Here's to 35 more years of great Hip-Hop!

Video Music Box Photo Gallery

Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons

The person who stays focused on his dream, realizes his dream.”

— Russell Simmons

Hip Hop has always been about do you. Organize your thoughts and present something fresh."

— Ralph McDaniels

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)