January 1: The Box Goes Offline. (2001)

January 1, 2001 – On This Date In Hip-Hop, The Box: Music Television You Control was taken off the air (in the United States).

The Program

The Box Music Television was groundbreaking music channel that emerged in the 1980s as a pioneer in interactive music programming. Unlike traditional music networks, The Box allowed viewers to request and vote for their favorite music videos by dialing a designated phone number. This innovative approach gave audiences unprecedented control over the content they wanted to see, creating a unique and engaging viewing experience.


For you youngsters, each video had its own 3-digit code… if you wanted to see the video, you would call a toll-number and dial in that code ($1.99-$3.99 to request 3 videos). Then, BOOM!! Your video was in rotation.

The Legacy

The Box played a MAJOR role in the success of Bone Thug’s Thuggish Ruggish Bone (most requested video in 1993) and videos by the Bloods And Crips.


However, with the rise of digital technology and the internet, traditional music television channels faced challenges in adapting to new consumption patterns. The Box eventually succumbed to these changes, ceasing its operations in the early 2000s.

The legacy of The Box lives on in the memories of those who experienced the thrill of requesting and watching their favorite music videos in real-time, marking a significant chapter in the history of music television.

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