Video Music Box

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Video Music Box
Video Music Box.jpg
Title card of Video Music Box
Narrated byRalph McDaniels
Opening theme"Five Minutes of Funk",[2] performed by Whodini
Country of originUnited States
Running time60 minutes
Original networkWNYC-TV (1983–1996)
WNYE-TV (1996–present)
Original release1983–present

Video Music Box is an American music television program. The series is the first to feature hip hop videos primarily;[3][4] and was created in 1983 by Ralph McDaniels and Lionel C. Martin, who also serve as the series' hosts.[1] It aired on the New York City-owned public television station WNYC-TV (now WPXN-TV) in from 1984 to 1996. In 1996, the program moved to WNYE-TV after WNYC-TV was sold by the city to a private company. New R&B music appeared alongside popular rap videos. The show appealed to teens and young adults.

Many artists from the Golden Age of Hip Hop made their debuts on Video Music Box. Although it is ostensibly a local show, its influence has been very widespread and has been considered a major factor in the growth of Hip hop music and culture.[5]

Show format & guest hosts[edit]

Video Music Box format differed from other video shows of its era and later by eschewing a studio format. Most shows were shot on-location throughout New York City in parks, schools, and nightclubs. During interludes from videos, the hosts would often allow regular people to give shout-outs to their friends and families. Very often, the hosts would do man-on-the-street segments where they discussed the issues of the day, such as the first Gulf War, teen sex, and issues in hip hop and music in general.

The show also had theme-based shows during the week, such as slow jams on Tuesdays, nervous Thursdays hosted by Crazy Sam, and old-school Fridays. Among the other hosts the show has had during its run were Tuffy and Ray Dejon.


  1. ^ a b Williams, Chris (April 3, 2011). "Lionel C. Martin: A Pioneer In Visual Production | InTheVisuals | SoulCulture". Soul Culture. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  2. ^ "5 Minutes of Funk" (1984) on YouTube
  3. ^ Video Music Box on IMDb
  4. ^ Century, Douglas, Street Kingdom: Five Years Inside the Franklin Avenue Posse. New York: Warner Books, 1999. ISBN 0-446-52266-X
  5. ^ Video Music Box :: GRANDGOOD