36 Times Dope: The “YO! MTV Raps” Box Break (Part I)

111_0772For about a year I’ve had this wonderful little box of unopened cards sitting in the truck of my car. I found this box of 1991 Pro Set “Yo! MTV Raps:Update” at a thrift store for a whole $3 and had intended to resell it on eBay. But to my surprise, the boxes don’t sell for much; I would have barely make my money back.

So for 12 months it ripened in my trunk, until Super Bowl Sunday, 2009, when my wife and I went shopping with our daughter before the game. When I pulled the stroller from the trunk, I spotted the box again and entertained the idea of just busting the box for fun. After all, I’ve been waiting all weekend to open packs of 2009 Topps baseball (Wednesday, baby!), and opening some of this stuff might soothe my itch.

So, from now through the first two weeks of March, each day I will post the contents of one pack, in the end hopefully ending up with an entire set of worthless, but entertaining cards. Who knows, maybe I’ll even be the proud owner of one of the rare “Bonus Hologram” collectibles advertised on the box. But if these holograms were anything like the Lombardi Trophy holograms from the football Pro Set series, odds are I’ll be S.O.L.

And just for kicks, I’m going to keep a running tab of M.C. Hammer and Vanilla Ice cards.

Without further adieu, here is pack No. 1, which I decided to let my wife open.

*Note: For full-size images, click the name of the card.

Pack One:

MC Hammer (Card 52)

How awesome is this? I decide to keep a running tally of this guy and he is on the very first card we pulled. It’s interesting to note that the back of these cards offer the real name of the artist pictured on the front, as well as a little “Yo! Fact.” In this case, the card notes that YO! MTV Raps debuted Hammer’s first video (“Turn This Mutha Out”) on March 11, 1989. By the time we finish this box, this video will officially be 20 years old. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.

LL Cool J. (Card 45)

When I was younger – as in when these cards were brand new – I used to run around my sixth grade science classing singing “Momma Said Knock You Out.” The ladies loved it. Not cause it was sexy or hardcore, but because it was funny as hell. Word.

Doctor Dre and Ed Lover (Card 21)

Oh, Boy. Funny little note about this card. The back features a secondary picture of ‘Dre and Ed Lover. Want to guess whose pictured with them? Kirk Burrell, aka MC Hammer. Does this count as a Hammer card?

Young Black Teenagers (Card 96)

So while my wife thumbed through these cards, she stopped dead in her tracks when she saw this card. She said the name of the crew and then paused. Her next words were classic: “But none of them are black.” Flippin’ awesome. God, I love my wife.

Bell Biv Devoe (Card 2)

Interesting factoid: The back of this card pictures ONLY Michael Bivins. Hmmm …

Fab Five Freddy (Card 34)

Real Name: Fred Brathwaite. Wait, isn’t there an NHL goalie who goes by the same name?

Leaders of the New School (Card 129)

I credit The Jon from TheBaseballStars for schooling me on the fact that Busta Rhymes was part of the Leaders of the New School. I listened to rap in the 90s and liked it, but to say I’m a fan is stretchin’ it. The Jon on the other hand, as well as Oz and PoiDog, two of my cohorts at TheBaseballStars.com are big time into real rap, not this commercialized garbage on the radio now.

About the card, there are five guys pictured, but only four listed on the back of the card. What’s up with that?

Queen Latifa (Card 138 )

Dude, Dana Owens has come a long way, hasn’t she?

Nikki D (Card 134)

Who the hell is Nikki D? Apparently she was the first female rapper on the Def Jam records label. Good times … and I don’t seem to give a flying bleep.

A Tribe Called Quest (Card 101)

From the back of the card: “An Afrocentric group, Tribe feels that they are real and are not jumping on a pro-black bandwagon.” Oh, the Drama. Word.

Instant Win Card

I forgot to mention this earlier, but each pack comes with a game piece that at one time could have been eligible for some awesome prizes. Fifth Place (3,000) was a YO! MTV Raps lapel pin; Fourth Place (1,500) Yo! MTV Raps T-shirt; Third Place (500) Yo! MTV Raps Watch; Second-Place (100) Black Satin MTV jacket; First Place (10) a personalized gold record; Grand Prize (1) An all-expenses paid trip to New York to watch a live taping of Yo! MTV Raps. Oh, snap!

I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping to win one of those second-place prizes. Satin jackets are sooooooooo 1980s. For the record, I’ll be using the flashlight technique (place light source directly behind the scratcher area to reveal what’s been hidden; think 1992 Topps Baseball Gold Winners) instead of actually scratching off the card. I don’t want to deal with the mess.

Anyway, this card was not a winner: “You missed the groove, make another move!”

So far in this box:

MC Hammer – 1

Vanilla Ice – 0

12 Responses to “36 Times Dope: The “YO! MTV Raps” Box Break (Part I)”

  1. I almost picked up a box of this at the card show this weekend. If you pull any Beastie Boys I’ll make a trade with ya yo! Don’t forget the dude from YBT played Jamal in House Party.

  2. I will follow every post eagerly awaiting a Public Enemy card. A guy I knew in college bought a pair of HUGE expensive space age liquid cooled speakers and then immediately blew them out playing Momma Said Knock You Out with the volume cranked to 11.

  3. Early candidate for best card post of ’09 if only for the Turn This Mutha Out embed. “I’m original, you’re digital!” And yes, I bought packs of these while listening to my rap cassette collection during high school. Am eagerly anticipating the rest of these packs and videos…

  4. Holy Crap, Kamron WAS Jamal from House Party 2! I’ll have to post that nugget of info if I pull another YBT card. Damn, this is great. Dope, even.

  5. Camron the gay pink rapper?

  6. Nikki D did a song called “Daddy’s Little girl” with the beat stolen from that “My name is Luka, I live on the second floor” artist.

  7. DJ Skribble (of MTV fame) was also a member of Young Black Teenagers

  8. DJ Skribble sucks.

  9. […] my haul a little later. I’m working on another piece for the 36 Times Dope series about the YO! MTV Raps box of 1991 Pro Set cards I broke. I’ll be posting the contents of Pack Four later. You […]

  10. Samantha Leigh Says:

    I Started Collecting Yo! Mtv Rap Musicards in 1994 Stopped in 1996 I Could not find them anymore I Have 90 Cards I Do Not Know What to do or where to go can you help me


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