Peter Dougherty, who played an influential role in introducing rap to MTV audiences by way of creating 'Yo! MTV Raps,' passed away on Oct. 12 due to a heart attack, according to his brother Paul, the New York Times reports. Dougherty was 59.

Dougherty was a friend to the Beastie Boys, Rick Rubin, and Fab 5 Freddy, and along with Ted Demme, he pushed for MTV to feature black music on its airwaves. "MTV Raps" debuted in August 1988 and would become the highest rated show in MTV history. Demme passed away in 2002.

Dougherty later moved to London to serve a variety of roles for MTV Europe. He also directed the Beastie Boys' video for "Hold It Now, Hit It."

Adam Horovitz, better known as the Beastie's Ad-Rock, described Dougherty to the New York Times as “a hooker-upper, a connector," and noted that “He was there when things were happening — not just one thing, but all the big things."

"Yo! MTV Raps" grew almost instantly after first airing, becoming a weekly show hosted by Fab 5 Freddy in October of 1988. By March 1989, the show was airing daily with hosts Ed Lover and Dr. Dre.

In 2013 for the 25-year anniversary of Yo! MTV Raps, iconic streetwear brand Stüssy teamed up with Yo! to released a two-part documentary to commemorate the show’s impact on hip-hop culture. “Yo! MTV Raps transmitted the culture of Rap to millions of homes at a time when there were only a handful of local outlets to see a rap video," Stussy wrote in a statement. "The style, the trends, the language of Rap began to influence popular culture and by the time the show left the air in 1995, the genre was no longer the best kept secret.”

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