Some of you younger folks may find this hard to believe, but back in the days before the ubiquity of Youtube and that other low rent video streaming site, finding fresh visual content from your favorite rappers used to demand a certain amount of effort on the part of the viewing public. At some point during the early 2000s, a guy from Queens named Smack started putting out regular mixtape magazine style DVDs that featured uncensored interviews, freestyles, battles and low budget music videos from all of the hottest rappers of the moment.
These DVDs gave fans a rare and unfiltered look into the lives of their favorite artists, often in their natural habitat, and were passed around the hood like the local jump off. The influence of SMACK DVD can still be seen in the content that now floods the web on a daily basis: I’m willing to bet those “In-Studio” performance videos probably wouldn’t exist if not for them and Smack’s follow up venture, the Ultimate Rap League battle franchise, is as popular as ever.
For the first installment of our new Video Vault series, we collected a few epic moments from the heyday of the SMACK era for your entertainment.