Yo! MTV Raps was 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. The US version was hosted by Doctor Dré (not to be confused with N.W.A. alumnus Dr. Dre), Ed Lover and Fab 5 Freddy, premiering on MTV on August 6, 1988.

Pilot episode Run-DMC hosted the pilot episode. 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.

Yo! MTV Raps and the spread of hip-hop The advent of Yo! MTV Raps in the late 1980s was crucial to the spread of hip-hop around the world. Through MTV Europe, MTV Asia, and MTV Latino, African-American and Latino style and sound was instantly available to millions of people across the globe. This helped to create a worldwide appreciation and interest in the hip-hop scene, which is something that was celebrated on the Yo! MTV Raps 20th anniversary.

Rivalry In January 1989, former rival BET created competition when the network premiered Rap City (was a two-hour long program, now an hour long show). Today (as of April 2008), the show is the longest-running hip-hop program because of its 19 year run.

Later Yo! MTV Raps had lots of merchandise including: Trading cards, Clothes ect