Nas is expanding his resume and will add director to his credits as he gears up to release an upcoming documentary on the groundbreaking hip-hop television show “Video Music Box.” The project will debut on Showtime on Dec. 3 and will delve into four decades of rap and hip-hop and include never-before-seen footage. The documentary aso takes an in-depth look at the show’s co-creator Ralph “Uncle Ralph” McDaniels.
“Video Music Box” first hit the screen in 1983 on New York City’s WNYC-TV (now WPXN-TV) in 1983 and reigned in the ’90s as well. The show was the first to play rap videos as a format in its rotation five years before “Yo! MTV Raps” and “BET’s Rap City” came into the mix. It documented the culture in real-time and helped pave the way to success for many rap artists as this was the only outlet to initially air their videos. McDaniels also directed Wu-Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M.” and Nas’ “It Ain’t Hard To Tell” which will be touched on as also.
“Ralph McDaniels was the first to give us an opportunity to express our talent,” Nas explained of the highly respected platform.
The Video Music Box documentary is just one of several projects the Illmatic MC has in store for next year. As hip-hop turns 50 in 2023, Nas and Sacha Jenkins, the chief creative officers of his company Mass Appeal, are producing a documentary series called “Hip Hop 50,” in partnership with Showtime, highlighting the musical genre’s history and global impact. Nas and his Mass Appeal co-horts will release another documentary next year as well called “Push It” which will explore the power that women and female MCs had on the genre.
Check out one of the classic episodes of “Video Music Box” below.