Fab 5 Freddy:
"A lot of the VJs were always seen on this set with a crazy background going on. I said, "Let's do it outside. I'd feel a lot more comfortable being on the street." That, I think, allowed my energy to bounce off of different locations, whether we were on a street corner in Harlem, or in Pete Rock and CL Smooth's basement up in Mount Vernon, or in the ghettos of Jamaica, London, or Paris. That was always the coolest thing to me. To be close to where the music was coming from, so that people could identify and see the streets and see the artists in their own environment, be in cars with them."
"Dre and I didn't have a dressing room. We used to change our clothes on the set. We didn't even have a contract for like the first five years of working at MTV. We thought it was gonna be a summer job. Yeah, MTV's gonna play some rap for the summer, then they gonna take it off. Then Yo! took off and we was just amped. Whatever we wanted to play, we would play. We were just loving it, so it wasn't like it was hard. It was just fun, it was an opportunity."
"When House of Pain got up on that, that was huge to us. That was like the Super Bowl. You couldn't get no bigger as far as I was concerned."
"The hip-hop explosion and Yo! MTV Raps are tied together. Once that vehicle was available more major labels making deals. You saw the Def Jam-Sony deal, Cold Chillin' with Warner Bros., Elektra signed Grandmaster Flash. Finally the major companies were getting involved in marketing, merchandising, and publicizing hip-hop. That golden era of the late eighties was helped immeasurably by the fact that you could get exposure for your videos at MTV."
"I was always waiting to watch Yo! MTV Raps. The whole culture, everything just fit in as one. I was a little kid glued to the television every time it came on. It was always doing stuff different. Sometime they made me laugh, whenever they had artists on there, artists would just be representing themselves, rapping, doing whatever. I felt like I was at home, man."
Doug E. Fresh:
"MTV started dedicating whole shows to rap because the next generation of kids were raised on rap. Before that, I think it was very difficult for them to understand. Most people didn't know if hip-hop was gonna be here or be gone in a little bit of time. But it proved that it has that ability to constantly create, constantly grow, constantly change and entertain the world."
"I'm sure it helped to multiply the hip-hop following. People in suburban America, that probably were too afraid to come to a show and see it, now had a chance to watch it. From there it sparked suburban American to get behind it and buy it."