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Ewing x Rap City x Viacom

Rap City Was a music video television program that aired on BET network from 1989-2008. The show featured hip hop music videos, interviews and later on freestyles from some of the hottest rappers at the time. A direct competitor to Yo! MTV Raps that came before it—The show was created by former BET producer Alvin Jones who was also known as "the Unseen VJ" at the time. The show was a spin-off of a segment called "Rap Week" on Video Vibrations—a music video show that was also produced by BET and hosted by Alvin Jones. The show is a historic and integral part of hip hop history—as some of the greatest rappers to ever live were interviewed on the show—Rap City is even credited with featuring Biggie's last known television interview that aired two days before his untimely passing but in 1999 the show format changed drastically when Stephen G. Hill former president of music programming at BET changed the format of the show from a traveling show to a studio setting.

Stephen G. Hill along with senior producer Craig Henry and producer John Tucker are credited with the rebrand of Rap City and the show ultimately becoming Rap City: Tha Basement. Craig Henry is credited with creating the the 360 degree basement set that gave the illusion of the show taking place in an actual basement and John Tucker is responsible for creating the iconic freestyle in the bathroom that became "the booth".

While the show had it's fair share of notable hosts like Chris Thomas, Hans Dobson, Prince Dejour, Joe Clair, Leslie Segar, Mad Lynx, J-Nicks & Q-45 its most memorable host is arguably Big Tigger who helped take Rap City into the new millennium and who often stepped into "the booth" with the musical guests and freestyled with them. The freestyles quickly became a fan favorite and is often still referenced by rap fans today. Some of the most legendary and memorable freestyles include the likes of the Diplomats, Eminem, Jay-Z, Jadakiss, Killer Mike, Common, Raekwon & ATCQ. Although the show is no longer running (besides specials like Rap City 21) it's influence is still felt today so that is why we partnered with Viacom to release a special edition Rap City Rogue to honor the longest running hip hop show in history—the shoe is now available in limited quantities on our website: