Ralph McDaniels

Hip Hop Coordinator, Queens Public Library

About this speaker

Ralph McDaniels was born in Brooklyn, New York. His parents moved to Queens, New York when he was eleven. McDaniels studied communications at LaGuardia Community College. He later started the video production company Classic Concepts with Video Music Box producer Lionel Martin.

In 1983 After interning at WNYC in New York City, and subsequently becoming a radio engineer, McDaniels created Studio 31 Dance Party, a television show revolving around recordings of music performances. This show would transform into Video Music Box, which was created and hosted by McDaniels and Martin by.

In 1994, McDaniels who became known as "Uncle Ralph", directed Rapper Nas first solo video, for his second single, It Ain't Hard To Tell. The video was aired on Video Music Box, which became the longest-running music video show in the world.

On December 3, 2021, Showtime premiered the Documentary, "You're Watching Video Music Box", chronicling the longest-running music video show, "Video Music Box" with never before seen footage from the vault of McDaniels. The documentary is written by Steve Rivo and Andre Wilkins and directed by Rapper Nas who is also featured in the documentary along with McDaniels.

Pioneering TV host and Hip Hop historian Ralph McDaniels is the Hip Hop Coordinator for Queens Public Library.

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Hip Hop Fashion: Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous

February 16, 2023, 10:30 PM
Elena Romero Ralph McDaniels Elizabeth Way

Hip Hop 50 National Celebration with Chuck D

February 27, 2023, 10:00 PM
Ralph McDaniels Chuck D

The Story of Sylvia Robinson & Sugar Hill Records Told by Leland Robinson & Wonder Mike

March 23, 2023, 09:30 PM
Leland Robinson Wonder Mike Ralph McDaniels

The History of Queens Hip Hop: DJ Hurricane, Sweet Tee & DJ Davy DMX Hosted by TL Cross & Ralph McDaniel

April 20, 2023, 10:30 PM
Ralph McDaniels

Book Talk with Queens Hip Hop Pioneer DJ Baby J

June 16, 2023, 10:30 PM

100-01 Northern Boulevard, Corona, NY, 11368

Queens Public Library Ralph McDaniels

Introductory Speakers Welcome (Hosted by Ralph McDaniels) & Performance by LBX Dance Academy

August 03, 2023, 03:00 PM
Ralph McDaniels LBX Dance Academy

Paving the Way: Pioneers of Hip Hop

August 03, 2023, 07:00 PM
DJ Hurricane Ralph McDaniels D.M.C. of Run-D.M.C. Original Cipha Sounds KRS-One MC Sha-Rock Fred "Bugsy" Buggs


Queens Public Library


In 2021, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded $425.7 million through grantmaking, research and policy development, to advance, support, and empower America's museums, libraries, and related organizations.