Terribly Awesome Cards: Yo! MTV Raps

By December 7, 2015June 18th, 2018No Comments


In 1991 before The Chronic debuted, there was an even more famous Doctor Dre co-hosting a television show with Ed Lover. Back when the “M” in MTV was actually relevant, Yo! MTV Raps was the first show on the network to focus on music videos of the hip hop genre, which was exploding at the time.

Card collecting was also hot among the youth, so it is no surprise that Pro Set decided to produce its own mash-up of the two emerging fads.

Depending on your perspective, hip hop has sustained to become the forefront genre in music today, or it has been insufferably watered down, destroying the essence of the music. Both sides have a valid argument, but what is not up for debate is that card collecting is dead. We don’t need Nas to tell us that. Even so, it is still fun to take a trip back and look at some of my favorite Yo! MTV Raps cards.


No, this isn’t some sick hybrid of Steve Urkel and Apollo Creed. For some inexplicable reason, Pro Set felt the need to include eight cards dedicated to M.C. Hammer in this set, tied for the most of any rapper.


This abomination to mankind was also granted eight cards. This In Living Color skit featuring Jim Carey sums up Vanilla Ice’s legacy perfectly.


Despite the group name, not a single member of Young Black Teenagers was actually black. Imagine trying to roll with this name in present day. PC Principal would not approve and the internet would have a field day trolling them. I have never heard one of their songs, but I here Rachel Dolezal was a huge fan back in the day.


Speaking of poorly named rap groups, remember The Afros? That group with one guy with an afro and two bald guys? Me neither.


I think I just found a new hairdo for Antonio Brown when he gets bored of his Legoman style.


3 guys 1 bike. That would make the X-Games a hell of a lot more interesting. That is actually Busta Rhymes on the handlebars.


Kool Moe Dee looks like an extra in a retro sci-fi movie. This is how people in the 1950s thought people in 1991 would dress, and Kool Moe Dee is proof that they nailed it.


When someone says “Tony D”, I’m thinking Danza. Everything I know about this Tony D, I learned from the card. He is obviously a New York Giants fan and keeps up with current events. He likes to sit by the water and be alone with his thoughts.


Notice Shock G ducking just below camera view. You never see Humpty and Shock G in the same photo. Conspiracy theory: I’m starting to think they may be the same person.


This is the most legitimately awesome card in the set. It has it all: Professor Griff and the S1W crew in their military gear, Flavor Flav in a jean jacket with his trademark clock necklace, Chuck D in a Raiders hat brandishing a boombox, and Terminator X looking like he just came from getting Lasik.


To hell with Johnny Depp. Look for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Ruler’s Back starring Slick Rick coming soon to a theater near you.

Jim Gruseck

Jim Gruseck

Jim is a life-long hoops junkie and fan of Pittsburgh sports. He can still be found in the Steel City pursuing creative endeavors in writing and music, when he's not traveling the world or stacking donkeys at the poker tables.