Words By Nico Simino—
Throughout the next two-plus months, Brooklyn’s Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art, or MoCADA, will play host to an exhibit celebrating the life and culture of the show that started it all—at least as far as hip-hop on TV is concerned. “The Box That Rocks: 30 Years of Video Music Box and the Rise of Hip Hop Music & Culture” is a tribute to Video Music Box, the pioneering New York City public TV show that was the first outlet to regularly feature hip-hop music on TV. As the show’s creator, host and a producer and/or director of over 400 music videos, “Uncle” Ralph McDaniels‘ influence is still felt throughout the music industry, and 30 years later he’s still producing the show and broadcasting every week. Also pivotal is Ralph’s Caribbean heritage—his parents hail from Trinidad—and his early support of dancehall, years before it gained the support of MTV and major labels.
The show is on display in the museum’s main gallery in Brooklyn. An opening reception is tomorrow, March 10, from 6-9 p.m, and will be followed by related movie screenings, panel discussions and a screening of VMB highlights at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. For more information, visit MoCADA’s website.