The world of music videos is without a doubt one of the most visually pleasing parts of Hip Hop music. From the overly sexual Jada’s Knock Yourself Out and 50’s Candy Shop to the more conscious ones focusing on female beauty videos of Common and John Legend, the splendor of gorgeous women will draw in even a 70 year-old. Going over to the West Coast, Snoop got his Doggystyle music porn. Southern videos are now in the front line for getting award for their raunchy portrayal of women in music videos. Even the female MCs, like Trina, Shawnna and Rasheeda try to come across from naughty to vulgar more and more.
Now, of course, there are videos that don’t use the help of sexual images and connotations. Videos help deliver messages in the music. Look at Kanye’s Jesus Walks or Mos Def’s Respiration. Music videos also represent the other side of Hip Hop, its connection with the hood. Look at 2Pac’s Troublesome 96 or Cube’s recent Why We Thugs.
Here in New York, everyone has been privileged to have Ralph McDaniels, or Uncle Ralph, as Red Alert called him. Bringing some of the most renowned Hip Hop acts to people, he did it before they became as legendary as they are now. KRS, De La, Wu and many more got love from the first VJ this city ever had before getting love from the now millions of fans. Almost every Hip Hop lover from back in the day can say “I remember watching Ralph’s videos as a kid”. Bringing the newest and the best to his viewers, he’s been working at 200% on expanding and preserving Hip Hop for about as long as Russell Simmons. Unedited videos straight from the artists, not the labels, like it is nowadays, can always be found on his Video Music Box.
Taking a look at his current efforts, Uncle Ralph has been doing just the same: bringing the hottest, the freshest, the future headline makers’ videos to the people. Now he is working with www.onfumes.com to present the up-in-comers in the film and music industry. Hosting monthly events at a trendy Hip Hop SoHo club, McDaniels is not responding to the industry demands, he determines the industry itself. Years in the business, precise and creative director’s control and the never-ending look to the future is making him more current than your Visa bill.
At one of his recent shows WNT caught up to this New York living legend. Interviewing people for his site and hosting the industry event of the night, he was a part of much more than the people ‘in the know’. He is, as always, surrounded by love and respect and that’s how he keeps it real. His people are always on the grind, always in the hustle mode and are always full of dreams and aspirations that make Hip Hop what it is.
Sitting down with WORDSnTUNES, he talks about the world of music videos, the industry changes, his own moves and gives some advise.