How Is The Internet So Box Deficient?

Nov 16th, 2007 // 10 Comments

oaktown357.jpgThe Internet is useful for so many things, but while looking at the blog The Stencil today, it occurred to me, where is the extensive Internet tribute to the pay-per-video channel “The Box” that we all so richly deserve?

Sure, there’s a brief Wikipedia entry:

The channel also existed in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s, but was eventually purchased by Viacom and merged into MTV2. The channel was initially a product of the Miami Music scene, hosted by local Miami Bass rappers known as Miami Boyz. THE BOX is a shortened term as the channel was originally named ‘The Jukebox Network’.
Founder and former owner Steve Peters began a short-lived record label from the earnings of Video Jukebox entitled Peter’s Records, but despite having his foot in the local Miami Bass scene, and employing Hip-Hop producers from abroad, he never managed to find a hit record and ended the label before The Box was sold. Some cities in the U.S. had terrestrial (over-the-air) transmitters for The Box and later MTV2, but many have now been sold off as of 2005.

That’s it? No extensive Box chart history? Just the painful memories of Viacom sweeping in and destroying my Miami Bass video source? I cry injustice. If a Bone Thug trivia page can state that “The Thuggish Ruggish Bone video was the most requested video on The Box in 1993,” the information is out there somewhere. It just needs to be collected in a helpful web-based resource for me to obsess over. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for. In tribute to the deeply missed Box, here’s the number one request of 1993:

And then, my favorite non-Miami Bass Box track, Oaktown 357′s “Juicy Gotcha Crazy”:

Perfect Rap Video? [The Stencil]


  1. Anonymous

    The Box was also great for freestyle — where else could you find videos like Lisette Melendez’s “Goody Goody” or Lisa Lisa’s (solo!) “Skip to My Lu” in regular rotation? Ah, 1993.

  2. beta.rogan

    I can remember when they only had about 10 videos to choose from. It usually ended up with En Vogue videos (who’s the hottest member of En Vogue, call and vote!), Special Ed and Primus. Leave it to Viacom to fuck-up the awesome that was The Box.

  3. Rob Murphy

    Comcast cable in DC had The Box during the late 90′s. It’s the first place I ever heard of an up-and-coming pop princess named…wait for it…Britney Spears. “…Baby One More Time” was in heavy rotation on The Box long before I ever caught it on MTV. Sam goes for Christina Aguilera and “Genie In A Bottle”.

  4. zapfdingbats

    The Box was always a mysterious, ghostly apparition on my television as a young child. We didn’t have cable, and still had the old TVs that made a distinction between VHF and UHF, with separate knobs for each. The Box would come in over the air, all fuzzy, introducing me to all sorts of weird videos through a snowy haze of static that made it a little creepy.

    I remember futilely trying to tune the channel in with the little tuner knob that was inside the bigger channel knob.

    Later on, in college, I was inexplicably the only person on campus to somehow get MTV2 via The Box’s old over-the-air transmitter. What was weirder was that *I had cable,* not rabbit ears. But there it was, haunting me with its fuzzy, just out of reach picture.

  5. silkyjumbo

    @mpbx: yeah, in atlanta you could get the box (later MTV2) without cable.

    and @DHMBIB: i remember seeing britney and backstreet boys and thinking “wait, this kind of pop is back?”

  6. zapfdingbats

    @silkyjumbo: I was used to getting The Box over the air. But when I got cable, and that service didn’t have The Box as part of its package, The Box somehow transcended time, space, and FCC regulations to deliver itself to my television. Spooky.

  7. DavidWatts

    @mpbx: OMG ME TOO. I remember they showed a lot of videos too naughty for MTV: “Put ‘em on the Glass” and the like. This, um, was not at all why I watched it.

  8. Halfwit

    @DHMBIB: I remember staying with an Aunt in DC when Bone Thugs’ “First of the Month” played four times (only interrupted between plays three and four by my request for “More Human Than Human”).

  9. Anonymous

    Ahhhh. I have been looking up the box quite a bit lately in my quest to find the song with the lyrics “Let me put my bass inside your boombox baby.” On around the same time as “Put ‘em on the glass”. Boyfriend. Now Husbands roomates ALWAYS had The Box on. Of course they really high. So it all sort of makes sense.

Leave A Comment