Once upon a time, the “M” in MTV stood for music. I know, I know, it seems a little crazy now, but trust me, they used to play music videos all the time. In fact, they were once the go-to outlet for new music and video premiers. They even had a show on everyday where they would countdown the 10 best videos of the day, as voted on by the fans.
Total Request Live, hosted by Carson Daily, and later a myriad of hosts and celebrity guest hosts, was a staple on MTV for 10 years, and in its final days it was the last true outlet on MTV for music as the channel began its shift to more reality based programming. Saturday will mark five years since MTV aired its last episode of TRL, so let’s journey down memory lane and celebrate with the 10 greatest Hip-Hop moments in the show’s history.
10. “I Eat M&M’s”
2000 was all about “Em, Pimp Juice and Us.” Nelly was such a big deal that he saw fit to take a few shots at Eminem in midst of his MTV VMA promotion. Nelly said it was a misunderstanding and, as with everything on this list, its old old news. Surprisingly, as far as i know, Em never responded.
9. The Game and 50 Cent
Things just made a little bit more sense in 2005. The Game and 50 Cent were friends and G-Unit was a big deal. DJ Quik performed The Game’s sets as well as the Bat Mitzvah of Ari Gold’s daughter and clothes were still really really big. “This is How We Do” was a also legitimate hit. 50’s cosign meant everything during 50 mania and eventually meant instant stardom for The Game. Then they had a shootout in front of Hot 97 a few months later but that’s besides the point.
8. Da Brat’s Tig Ol’ Bitties
Now, I know, Da Brat? She was a staple on MTV in 2000 as the first solo female rap act to ever go platinum. She also was such a personality that she was asked to host TRL several times early in the decade. On this occasion, she saw fit to open up her humongous denim jacket (with matching pants and durag) to show off her see through bra. MTV enjoyed this moment so much it made it the #10 greatest moment in TRL history. Da Brat hasn’t released an album in 10 years and in 2011 finished up a three-year jail sentence for breaking a bottle over a waitress’s head in an Atlanta club.
7. “We Got Ja Rule On The Phone”
He really did sound like the cookie monster. People got excited in the pre-50 days when Ja Rule made surprise appearances on TRL. It’s true, there’s footage and everything. Seriously though, there is no denying that in the early 2000’s Ja had a strong presence on the radio and was a constant fixture on MTV. But who am I kidding, this is just an excuse to send you to Dave Chappelle talking about a particular 2002 MTV appearance by Ja that he didn’t quite agree with. Since this clip, 50 Cent happened to Ja Rule, and he went away for a while.
6. “So Ghetto”
You’re going to have to trust me on this one, jean outfits were really cool in 1999 and 2000. This clip is great for about a billion reasons other than high fashion, but seeing the Roc together like one big happy family has got to be the best one. Jay struggles to censor himself as Beans, Bleek, Dame and even DJ Clue make appearances. Since then Hov has went on to live happily ever after and marry a real nice lady.
5. Kanye To The
This guy may not look familiar, but a young Kanye West paired in 2004’s baggy wares performed his first big hit on the TRL stage. We all loved “Through The Wire” but “Slow Jamz” gave a young hungry Kanye West his first number one song. Kanye struck gold when he added hometown underground legend Twista and actor Jamie Foxx onto one of his trademark looped up soul productions. Since then Ye went on to live happily ever after and married a real nice lady as well.
4. G-G-G G-Unit
Every spring MTV would go on the round for spring break and bring TRL along for the ride. G-Unit got an invite way back in 2004 to perform another long string of hits. Decked out in G-Unit gear that people actually wanted to wear at the time, 50 decided that the stage wasn’t elevated enough and sought higher ground. This probably would have been number one if he fell, but I digress. Since this clip 50 hasn’t changed his wardrobe much, or his music, but he’s gotten new teeth and picked up acting, for better or for worse.
3. The Photo Booth
One of the things that made TRL, at its height, as cool as it was, was the photo booth. Celebs would come in all excited and snap pre-instagram selfies before we even knew what to call them. When Hip-Hop acts came on the show though, it meant a little bit more. Rarely do we get to see super cool gotta be tough at all times rappers let loose and be goofy for a second, but that’s exactly what the TRL photo booth gave us.
2. “For A White Girl”
A TRL list wouldn’t be complete without an appearance from Britney Spears. In 1999, Brittney was officially legal and Method Man, professional panty rider, couldn’t help himself when he met her on TRL‘s set. Making an appearance with Redman to promote Blackout, Tical and Red ended up taking a quick picture with Britney and he took the opportunity to compliment her on her backside. It takes one hell of a confident guy to hit on somebody while decked out in Avirex.
Since then Method Man has stopped wearing Avirex, and recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of Enter the Wu-Tang” 36 Chambers.
1. Em TV
In May, 2000, MTV would do its part to help The Marshall Mathers LP sell 1.76 million copies in its first week, still a record for the biggest opening week by a solo artist ever. MTV granted Eminem his very own edition of TRL which he demolished.
Em spent the better part of two hours parodying MTV shows, imitating VJs and dissing all the typical pop mainstays: Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Christina Aguilera and even himself. Em also said f*ck the votes and played 10 videos he wanted to see featuring Busta Rhymes, 2pac, The Beastie Boys and more. Since the EmTv went off the air, Em has went on to become Eminem, duh.