Earlier today, I came across a tweet in which someone posted the Tank “Freaky” music video from way back in 2000. Their tweet read “1 of the best songs deez kids never heard”. It’s true. Most people don’t even know the track exist because it wasn’t released on his Force of Nature debut and the video only got some airplay for about 2 months in the Fall of 2000. I liked the track because it had Do or Die in it and I loved the video because of the obvious Southern California eye candy. But, with the video posted in the tweet, I noticed something that gave me an instant chuckle and brought back memories of my childhood. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: The Box.
How I first came across this moment? I first came across The Box back in 1995, when my mother decided to discontinue our cable television service. The Box was one of the over-the-air channels and it showed all of the latest and greatest music videos.
What it meant to me then? After losing access to BET and MTV with my mother’s decision to cut our cable, The Box was really key to me keeping up with the latest music videos. It was the visual complement of what I heard on 95.7 JAMZ and 98.7 Kiss FM. It kept me in the loop. I was able to have conversations at school about unique music videos. The Box even produced a moment where I got grounded for a week. I called the 1-900 number and ordered the Dru Hill “5 Steps” music video. When my mother saw that $3.99 charge on the BellSouth bill, it was on.
What it means to me now? The Box is no longer around today. I remember when I got home from working the New Year’s Eve closing shift at Domino’s Pizza around 1:30am and tuning in to see the channel replaced by MTV2. That was the end of The Box for me but the legacy of it is still fresh in my head. It was truly music television we controlled…evidenced by that one time they played Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle” like 7 times in an hour. While today’s kids may not have known of Tank’s first commercially-released single, they certainly won’t know about the legacy of The Box.