XXL celebrates 50 years of hip-hop with this moment:

Aug. 6, 1988: During the 1980s, the cultural landscape of MTV was dramatically different and we are not talking about a severe lack of reality-TV programming the channel feeds us today. For Black artists, it was often difficult if not impossible to get their videos played on the music channel. If you were not Michael Jackson, Prince or had obvious rock influences, you were unwanted on the station. And if you were hip-hop? Forget it. You were persona non grata. But that all changed in the summer of 1988 when, on this day, in 1988, Yo! MTV Raps  premiered on the air.

Yo! MTV Raps was created by late film director Ted Demme (who was a production assistant at the time) and late TV executive Peter Dougherty, and became an immediate success for the network. During its initial run, the program was one of the most popular television shows in the history of the music channel.

Yo! MTV Raps first aired on Saturday evening after a brief trial run on MTV Europe. Run-DMC hosted the pilot episode, which featured new videos and an interview with DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. The show's success led to it being picked up as a regular Saturday evening program. Hip-hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy took over as the main host and conducted interviews with artists on location. The show eventually expanded to a daily time slot, with relative newcomers Ed Lover and Doctor Dre taking over as hosts. The duo would go on to become successful radio personalities on New York's Hot 97 and in the hip-hop world.

During its run, the program had many famous moments including a drive through Compton on a flatbed with N.W.A., the on-air breakup of the Leaders Of The New School and a young Tupac Shakur calling out the Hughes Brothers with violence after his firing from their film, Menace II Society.

Yo! MTV Raps was a seminal moment in hip-hop, leading to greater national exposure for many of hip-hop acts and a permanent place at the table for rap music in America's pop culture landscape. The show's seven-year run came to an end on August 17, 1995 but the show still reverberates in history as integral development in hip-hop.

Watch some of the best moments on Yo! MTV Raps below.

Frank Micelotta, Getty Images
Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

Watch Fab 5 Freddy Talk With Tupac Shakur on Yo! MTV Raps Below

Watch Queen Latifah Perform "Latifah's Had It Up Here" on Yo! MTV Raps Below

Watch N.W.A.'s Interview with Fab 5 Freddy on Yo! MTV Raps Below

Watch Nas' Interview with Yo! MTV Raps Below

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