In the world of music television, there has been no shortage of public outcry over the teen-oriented dramas and reality TV that have come to dominate the airwaves. Apparently, the producers at MuchMusic have been paying attention, as they have announced that they will be relaunching the video-focused formats of classic shows The Wedge and RapCity. Not only that, but Much has tapped some top-notch talent for the programs, with Toronto, ON hip-hop ambassador Tyrone "T-RexXx" Edwards hosting RapCity and Fucked Up frontman Damian Abraham taking over The Wedge.
RapCity began shortly after Much went on the air in 1984, with the revamped program now promising to shine a light on the hip-hop community through music videos, performances, interviews and archival footage from the MuchMusic vault. As for The Wedge, which became the station's most popular show during the grunge-loving '90s, Much explains that it will focus on "forward-thinking music" and "the most cutting-edge indie rock videos," which will be presented and discussed in a live forum by a community of opinionated musicians.
In an interview with Exclaim!, Abraham admits that working at MuchMusic is something of a lifelong dream. "It's weird because I never really dreamed of being in a band, but I definitely dreamed of being a VJ," he says. "I've always liked playing music for people better than I liked playing music. When I used to do a radio show, I always loved that."
Abraham also hopes he can bring some new Canadian artists into the fold in his hour time slot. "For all it's done in terms of building up certain types of bands and certain types of music, I think there's been a mystifying process about how to get a video on MuchMusic," Abraham says. "I think that's been to the detriment of some bands, not knowing how to get their music on MuchMusic. I'm kind of hoping I'm going to demystify that and do something where I help smaller bands get exposure and get smaller videos into the rotation."
He also plans to bring along some of the many friends he's made touring across the globe. "There are so many people I've met on tour, so many weird music personalities that I'd love to have on The Wedge," he says. "I think already I've made some serious plans to have these people who have weird sides to their personalities. [Dinosaur Jr.'s] J Mascis or Dean from No Age -- people who I have a really fun time with whenever I run into them on the road or play a festival with them." Laughing, he adds, "I would love to get Weird Al back to and do some Al TV episodes."
Though he does have major curatorial clout, Abraham is realistic about what he will be broadcasting on the show. "I don't think I'm going to be able to play three Cro-Mags videos and some live bootlegs or something, but I think with the right programming of various videos and stuff, there's definitely room to have everything, like The Wedge was when it first started."
MuchMusic will air the new prime-time version of The Wedge on Wednesday, January 26 at 10 p.m. EST/PST. The first episode of the new RapCity will kick off on Thursday, January 20 at 10 p.m. EST/PST and will feature an exclusive interview with Drake.