On June 1st, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center will play host to a family reunion of sorts with the Yo! MTV Raps: 30th Anniversary Experience, a tribute to the instantly popular, era-defining music video show featuring a formidable line-up of Golden Era pioneers.
The event will serve as the first event in a campaign that an MTV press release says will “reinvent” Yo! MTV Raps across both their television channels and social media. MTV will live-stream the arena concert on its website, which will feature who’s who of lyrical legends and video stars.
Scheduled to appear are a slew of artists featured on the show’s run between 1988 and 1995: Big Daddy Kane and the Juice Crew, Eric B. and Rakim, Doug E. Fresh, KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions, EPMD, Flavor Flav of Public Enemy, Melle Mel & the Furious Five, the Pharcyde, Brand Nubian, Nice and Smooth, Onyx, Black Sheep, Das EFX, Special Ed, Yo-Yo, Kid Capri and the first performance of “Tap the Bottle” hitmakers Young Black Teenagers since they disbanded in 1994.
Weekend host Fab 5 Freddy and the raucous weekday crew – Ed Lover, Doctor Dré and T-Money – will be also all be on hand along with DJs Skribble, Red Alert and Chuck Chillout.
“The actual star of the show is the Yo! MTV Raps brand and all the iconic groups that either started their career or got their mainstream light through that show,” says DJ Skribble, one of the show’s co-producers. “So many people from my age group, we lived and died by that show.”
The event will also feature special tribute videos from Eminem, Method Man, Redman and more.
Inspired by the success of the popular I Love the ’90s tour, Ed Lover and Doctor Dré reached out to their former manager Charlie Stettler, who helped bring this concert to life. Dré says people tell him that they loved the show “every time I go anywhere.”
“Raising my kids and going to school functions and their parents come up, going, “Oh my God, I used to run home from school and watch you on TV,” says Dré. “The kids sit back and look at my son and go, ‘Don’t you know your dad is Doctor Dré?’ And he goes ‘No, it’s my dad.’ But my daughter, who we call, affectionately, the accountant, she says, ‘Yes, that’s my dad and we’ll charge you a dollar for a handshake and two dollars for a picture.’
“Yo! MTV Raps … actually put hip-hop on the map around the globe,” says Dré “From southeast Asia … to Peru, Argentina. Antarctica even used to watch Yo! MTV Raps. I used to get from mail from many different African nations – including Wakanda.”
Tickets to Yo! MTV Raps: 30th Anniversary Experience go on sale Saturday, April 21st at 12 p.m.. EST