MTV Jams

MTV Jams
MTV Jams
Mtv jams.svg
Launched 1998
Owned by MTV Networks (Viacom)
Formerly called MTVX (1998-2002)
Sister channel(s) MTV, MTV2, MTV Hits
Available on most cable systems Check local listings
Verizon FiOS Channel 213
AT&T U-verse Channel 508

MTV Jams is a Viacom-owned American hip-hop/urban music video channel that debuted on 1998 as MTVX, then was relaunched in 2002 under its current name. Like its sister stations MTV Hits, VH1 Soul, and CMT Pure Country, MTV Jams is available exclusively on digital cable.

The channel runs on an automated eight hour wheel schedule which repeats three times a day, starting at 6am Eastern, and then resetting at 2pm and 10pm. Promotional advertising, other interstitial programming and some events, such as the Ozone Awards are also carried on the network, along with various theme programming to promote album releases or other happenings in the music world.

MTV Jams was the last remaining MTV network in the United States to use MTV's original Kabel font for their music video credit tags, which the main MTV network discontinued in October 2007. MTV Jams switched to the font style used by MTV Hits and rarely by MTV itself in May 2011. The logo had a minor readjustment in February 2010 to remove the Music Television tagline and a small quarter of the logo in line with the official rebranding of all MTV networks.


Initial reactions

MTVX's replacement in 2002 by MTV Jams was explained by the network as being based on demographic trends and industry data that there was a lower demand for a channel devoted to hard rock and heavy metal than there was for hip-hop, rap and R&B, so they made the decision to replace MTVX's channel space with a new format branded with MTV Jams, at the time, the network's branding for music of that type and an actual show on the channel's mother network.

After its launch, MTV Jams' playlist became predictable and less random than it originally seemed. The new videos that were in heavy rotation were usually played once per hour or once per every two hours.


Beginning in the summer of 2004, MTV Jams added some variety into its programming. Along with MTV Hits, MTV Jams began to play more obscure videos, as well as a larger selection of older videos, than it had previously played.

Currently, the breadth of MTV Jams' playlist surpasses that of its sister stations VH1 Soul and MTV Hits, with several hundred more videos played on a regular basis. Most of the urban music videos that have ever aired on an MTV, VH1 or even BET can be seen on MTV Jams, as well as many more obscure urban videos that cannot be seen on any other Viacom network, though usually the channel does not air music preceding the 1989 premiere of Yo! MTV Raps, except for a few small cases.

Hood Fab

MTV Jams hosts a frequent live game show by the name of Hood Fab, hosted by Buttahman. In this game, Buttahman will have two contestants (normally one popular hip-hop artist and one random contestant off of the street, although there have been games where two artists went against each other.) and ask them questions about hip-hop. The contests take place in Various cities. The one who answers the most correctly gets a bonus question. Whoever gets the bonus question, wins a prize. The artist normally just gets bragging right and the "Official Hood Fab tube socks" as opposed to where the random contestant will get something of more value plus the tube socks.

The Parker Report

Every now and then, MTV Jams includes a short show called The Parker Report, hosted by Erik Parker. On the show, Erik will feature hip-hop artists, normally under a theme (for instance, one episode he featured the Grand Hustle team of T.I., Afla Mega, and Big Kuntry King.) to talk about recent problems or studies in hip-hop. In the aforementioned episode, they discussed the autotune "T-Pain" effect and about how he rediscovered it. The cast will always come to a conclusion about the topic at hand. For instance, they came to the conclusion to, when using the autotune, either "shout out" to T-Pain or feature him on the record. The closing scene will always show the summarized point, which was "No biting allowed".


Occasionally, MTV Jams will air special, unannounced alphabetical marathons of music videos by artist name, usually around holiday periods, or videos themed around lists such as most popular of the year, nominated for certain awards or that of an artist around the release of a new album.

Themed blocks

From time to time, MTV Jams is also known to include special themed blocks of programming, for example, an hour of a specific artist or label's videos, an hour block of '90s gangsta rap, or a string of reggae-style videos. This is always unannounced and spontaenous for viewers, in the vein of MTV2's original format.

In the fall of 2004, MTV Jams presented a week of shows titled "Takeover," where artists were invited to host a day of programming. Artists included Usher, Kanye West, Lil' Jon, Nelly, and Fat Joe. Each artist played their favorite videos and their own videos. Additionally, MTV specials such as 'Diary' and live performance footage was played that related to the artists. This may have marked the first time the channel has ever aired any non-music video programming. In March 2005, MTV Jams invited 50 Cent to their studios to introduce his and his posse's music videos, as well as to play some of his favorite old school videos. He also spoke briefly between videos about his newest album and about his musical inspirations. At the time, these two specials were the most VJ-like to ever appear on the generally low-budget channel.

Fab 5 of Summer '05

During the summer of 2005, MTV Jams debuted a new, larger logo for itself in order to promote special summer programming called "The Fab 5 of Summer '05" that was running on the channel for the duration of the summer. The "Fab 5" were five up-and-coming hip-hop artists that the channel placed a heavy emphasis on during the entire summer. They were Juelz Santana, Da Back Wudz, Young Jeezy, Tony Yayo, and Paul Wall. Da Back Wudz, Young Jeezy, Tony Yayo, and Paul Wall came into the MTV Jams studio to speak about their careers and to play blocks of their favorite videos. These blocks were rotated pretty heavily, sometimes several times a day, so the summer of 2005 arguably became the period of MTV Jams' history that has seen the most redundant and least varied playlist to date.

The same summer, MTV Jams moved one step closer toward its high-budget, show-based sister networks MTV and VH1 when it briefly aired documentary style programs on the hip-hop themed and MTV-produced movie Hustle and Flow.

Jam of the Week

MTV Jams every Sunday morning programs a music video as "Jam of the Week" each hour of the day. The videos chosen are often premiered or popular.


MTV Jams, a part of the MTV Digital Suite and VH1, is available on most digital cable systems,but not Dish Network or DirecTV. Time Warner Cable does not carry the network except on their former Adelphia systems, where previous contracts with MTV Networks are required to be honored, and Bright House Networks, of which Time Warner Cable formerly had a stake in. The network is also not seen in New York City on non-Cablevision systems; Time Warner is the majority cable provider for Manhattan, Staten Island, and Brooklyn/Queens. The network is also carried on some cable systems in Latin America, South America, and Mexico in a localized form. In Bolivia (Latin America) the channel is available under Digital television systems.[1]


External links

MTV Jams currently does not have a separate network website, and is not mentioned on However MTV Jams playlist programmer Tuma Basa maintains a Twitter presence under the MTVJAMS identity mainly to market the network.

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