The video features a man at the beginning asking "What is rap music?" When the song starts the group is seen performing on stage at a party. The song itself doesn't start until the 1-minute-13-second marker.
The video then shows the members of Run-D.M.C. exiting a limo in front of a dance club. At different parts of the video a young boy can be seen following the members dancing along with people in the club. At the end of the video, still photographs are taken and freeze on the screen, with a camera shutter sound effect in the background, as the instrumental outro plays in the background.
The video, for the most part, is filmed in black and white, interspersed with a television showing dances in color. It is known to be the first hip-hop music video to air on MTV.
The song was featured on the fictional pirate radio station Wildstyle on the "Vice City" chapter of the Grand Theft Auto series. Satirizing R&B's use of old rap beats, its instrumental was used Chris Rock's song "Champagne," and "Rock Box" was also used in an episode of Everybody Hates Chris, in which the main character and his principal were snowed in at school.