Celebrity Interviews

Ralph McDaniels on Directing Videos for Wu Tang Clan and Gang Starr, Hip Hop Film Festival 2016 + Legacy of “Video Music Box”

Paving the way for shows like Yo! MTV Raps and BET Jams, Ralph McDaniels‘ “Video Music Box” was spurred from an idea to have more black programming on the TV station he was an engineer for. Joining Sway in the Morning the legendary VJ speaks on creating such an icon piece of television and hip hop history.

Starting the show with the classic Whodini track “Five Minutes Of Funk,” McDaniels speaks on there only being a hand full of hip hop music videos when the show started in 1983. Filling extra time with videos from Tears For Fears and others alike he opens up about using feedback he heard from people he saw on the streets to pick what to play. Keeping things fun and making sure to add in important PSA’s the show grew to be the second highest rated in their time slot next to Oprah.

Speaking on other video work he’s done McDaniels talks about being approached by RZA to shoot the video for “C.R.E.A.M..” Filmed in the streets of New York he says the temperature was nearly -20 degrees! The legendary DJ Premier then calls in to talk about McDaniels’ work with Gang Starr and bringing them on “Video Music Box” to introduce their first video.

Now working on programming for over 60 libraries in Queens, McDaniels also organizes the New York Hip Hop Film Festivals. Showing over 40 films from all over the world he opens up about premiering hi own film, “Rules And Regulations” this Friday. For more information and tickets to the festival which runs from tomorrow, August 3rd- August 6th head to hiphopfestivalnyc.com.

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