Rapper's Delight – The Sugarhill Gang (1979)
“Rapper’s Delight” was a 1979 single by American hip-hop trio The Sugarhill Gang. While it was not the first single to feature rapping, it is generally considered to be the song that first popularized hip-hop in the United States and around the world. The song was ranked #248 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and #2 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs. In late 1979, Debbie Harry of the group Blondie suggested that Chic’s Nile Rodgers join her and Chris Stein at a hip-hop event, which at the time was a communal space taken over by teenagers with boom box stereos playing various pieces of music that performers would break dance to. Rodgers experienced this event the first time himself at a high school in the Bronx. A few weeks later, Blondie, The Clash and Chic were playing a gig in New York at Bonds nightclub. When Chic started playing “Good Times”, rapper Fab Five Freddy and what were the original members of The Sugarhill Gang jumped up on stage and started rapping freestyle with the band. A few weeks later Rodgers was on the dance floor of New York club LaViticus and heard the DJ play a song which opened with Bernard Edwards’ bass line from Chic’s “Good Times”. Rodgers approached the DJ who said he was playing a record he had just bought that day in Harlem. The song turned out to be an early version of “Rapper’s Delight”, which also included a scratched version of the song’s string section. Rodgers and Edwards immediately threatened legal action over copyright issues, which resulted in a settlement and them being credited as co-writers. Rodgers admitted that he was originally upset with the song, but would later declare it to be “one of [his] favorite songs of all time”, also saying that “as innovative and important as ‘Good Times’ was, ‘Rapper’s Delight’ was just as much, if not more so.” “Rapper’s Delight” hit #36 on the U.S. pop charts, and #4 on the U.S. R&B chart. In 1979 it became the first hip-hop single to go gold. The following year, the song was the anchor of the group’s first album “The Sugarhill Gang”. It was the first Top 40 song to be available only as a 12-inch extended version in the U.S., and no U.S. 7-inch, 45-RPM record was made. In Europe, however, it was released on the classic 7-inch single format, with a shorter version of the song. The original members, all from Englewood, New Jersey, called themselves Wonder Mike (born Michael Anthony Wright on April 30, 1957), Big Bank Hank a.k.a. ‘Imp the Dimp’ (born 1956 as Henry Jackson) and Master Gee (born Guy O’Brien in 1963). They were assembled into a group by producer Sylvia Robinson who also founded Sugar Hill Records, along with her husband, the record mogul Joe Robinson. This channel is dedicated to all the great rap music from back in the day. The music that started the whole hip-hop revolution, the incredible music from the 70s, the 80s, and the early 90s . . . The Roots Of Rap are here!
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