If I remember correctly they got the idea from some off hours programing on like independent affiliate stations, a few network promo shows, and shit like American Band Stand and Soul Train which been going for a long time. And were the source of lot of the earliest music videos.
The concept started earlier with promo clips intended to be played in record stores. And to a lesser extent cut into like broadcast news shows or variety and music programing. Obviously concert films already existed, and clips from those were used.
It actually has a lot of ties to development of home media formats. I’m having trouble looking it up but there was failed early video disc format that ended up primarily used in the Music Industry. In a failed attempt to sell “Video Singles”, and then primarily to run clips in records stores.
Might have been one of the early video on vinyl formats. But that was also one of the early uses of “Discovision” which would turn into Laserdisc.
So there was material around for MTV at the start, and precedent for broadcasting it. But it wasn’t until the mid 80’s that the recording industry jumped on regularly producing this stuff as part of releases of singles. So they had a good 3 or 4 years of “how do we kill all this time”.
They started rebranding their US division and shifted the format starting in like 01, then spun it off as Fuse TV and slowly collapsed from there.
A friend of mine worked for them for years. Apparently both the Canadian end of it and Fuse struggled mightily by sticking with a music only format.
I think the Canadian end only stuck it so long because Canada has much, much better public support for media production.
Weirdly it was exactly that kind of wheel spinning and experimentation that made them so influential.
Aside from helping build the frame work for reality TV. They basically invented a lot of modern video production and TV process. All from a standpoint of “let’s hire these failed film students and News interns then not supervise them after telling them to fill 3 hours”.
It’s wild how much of my film degree involved “let’s take 30 minutes to talk about MTV and Nickelodeon” regardless of the actual subject.
I remember when his first single hit rotation on Rap City (Black Entertainment Television’s rap video show – the best hip hop video outlet of the time) it was just a done deal. he was dope, and he had the backing of Likwit crew: King Tee and the Alkaholics. they’re forgotten now I guess but they were great and have a lot of canonical singles. when he started doing PMR, that didn’t phase me, what sucked was his music was getting packaged with horrible beats designed for commercial radio instead of the type of tracks he used to be known for. compare these with what you remember of Xzbit:
I believe this was his second single
and this video was his biggest hit up to that point, and the visual part is really fun
Due to PMR, his audience went from a strictly hip hop audience to a general audience, I get that it made sense to start using more commercial beats but it was a real shame to see it go down like that.
I don’t know that Xzibit was ever a particularly big name in hip hop. Sure he had a couple good selling albums but I don’t think Pimp my Ride killed his career. I mean yeah it was a pretty silly show that had a dark side but he always came off as super likable and funny. Every account I’ve read from people who were on the show say that Xzibit was a really cool dude behind the scenes.
Anyway he seems to have made a name for himself doing music, TV, movies, radio, and video games. His career seems to be doing just fine even if he’s not a megastar.
Hard to say if Xzibit truly cares, but this article infers he was planning on his PMR gig boosting his music career.
He was still making music during PMR, but as other posters here have pointed out the music definitely didn’t have that fire in the belly that brought him success in the first place. I thought his early singles were good, fwiw.
Also, I love the “Yo dawg I heard you liked X…” joke and still use it from time to time.
Well he was involved in the Pimp my Ride video game during that time. It wasn’t very good - not even by “so bad it’s good” standards - it was just profoundly un-fun. Xzibit himself did a good job with VO and it’s filled with his music but the gameplay itself was pretty awful - bad mini games, bad driving physics, repetitive gameplay.
Per the video he apparently went bankrupt not long after the show wrapped up, and while he’s not specific he seems to be saying in the interview clips that he made no money from the show.
He also apparently had a platinum record, well before the bar on that was lowered by including streaming plays in the calculation.
I wasn’t really aware of any of that.
Though do think part of the issue here is that his career lit off at the very tail end of the traditional music industry. Before album sales collapsed, streaming became a thing. And all this went down right before a major shift in Hip Hop away from the scene and background he seems to be coming from.
It does sound like he got a bit screwed, and it doesn’t seem like his music career was anything like “fading” when he signed up. But I dunno if he would have stayed at those heights anyway.
Without any evidence I can see this happen if you base your lifestyle off of your current income. Boom/bust industries like most of entertainment or being an athlete have a very short lifespan, but instead of living well below your means knowing income will soon dry up many people live as if that same paycheck will show up indefinitely. Its hard enough getting a regular paycheck working a normal day job and keeping your finances straight.