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Yo! MTV Raps

Yo! MTV Raps
Also known as 'Yo!'
Genre Hip-hop music and culture
Non Fiction
Created by Ted Demme and Peter Dougherty
Directed by Ted Demme
Moses Edinborough
Presented by Fab 5 Freddy
Ed Lover
Doctor Dré
Starring Fab 5 Freddy
Ed Lover
Doctor Dré
Theme music composer Nigel Cox-Hagen
Beau Tardy
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 1,830
Producer(s) Jac Benson II
Todd 1
Ted Demme
Theron "Tee Smif" Smith (Classic Cuts 2011)
Cinematography Jeff Muhlstock
Editor(s) Rob Ortiz
Glenn Lazzaro
Rosanna Herrick
Running time 60 minutes (including commercials)
Original network MTV
Picture format Video (1.33:1)
Audio format Stereo
Original release September 6, 1988 – August 17, 1995
Related shows Rap City (BET program)
Sucker Free

Yo! MTV Raps is a two-hour American television music video program, which ran from August 1988 to August 1995. The program (created by Ted Demme and Peter Dougherty) was the first hip hop music show on the network, based on the original MTV Europe show, aired one year earlier. Yo! MTV Raps produced a mix of rap videos, interviews with rap stars, live in studio performances (on Fridays) and comedy. The show also yielded a Brazilian version called Yo! MTV and broadcast by MTV Brasil from 1990 to 2005.

The U.S. version was originally hosted by Fab 5 Freddy. Later, the show's main host was Doctor Dré (not to be confused with N.W.A alumnus Dr. Dre) and Demme's High School friend, Ed Lover, who both hosted together on weekdays. Fab 5 Freddy proceeded to host on weekends. The original line-up of the show, starring only Fab as the host, premiered on MTV on August 6, 1988.

On the weekday version dubbed, Yo! MTV Raps Today (which debuted on March 13, 1989), Ed Lover created his own dance called the Ed Lover Dance (which was typically featured on Wednesdays) that became somewhat popular in the 1990s. The Ed Lover Dance was performed to the track "The 900 Number" by The 45 King.

In 1987 Ted Demme and Peter Doughtery developed the program for the then nascent MTV Europe. The year after that Run-DMC hosted the pilot episode in the US. Also featured in the pilot were DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. Eric B. & Rakim's video for the title track of the album Follow the Leader was the first video to be shown on Yo! MTV Raps. The pilot was one of the highest rated programs to ever air on MTV at that point. Only the Video Music Awards and Live Aid received greater ratings.