Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for... Rapper's Delight

Today, we're going old School... let me indulge you with this story of a song that is said to be the one that popularized rap music and put it into the mainstream.

R is for... Rapper's Delight http://www.jinglejanglejungle.net/2015/04/r-is-for-rappers-delight.html #AtoZChallenge

Once upon a time, back in the late 1970's, there was a hip hop event, which at the time was a communal space taken over by teenagers with boombox stereos playing various pieces of music that performers would break dance to. Blondie's Debbie Harry invited Chic's Nile Rodgers to join her and Chris Stein (also of Blondie) at such an event.

The next year, Blondie and Chic were playing concerts with The Clash in New York City. When Chic started playing "Good Times", rapper Fab Five Freddy and the members of the Sugarhill Gang, jumped up on stage and started freestyling with the band. A few weeks later Rodgers was on the dance floor of New York club Leviticus and heard the DJ play a song which opened with the 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, which resulted in a settlement and their being credited as co-writers.

R is for... Rapper's Delight http://www.jinglejanglejungle.net/2015/04/r-is-for-rappers-delight.html #AtoZChallenge
 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" and his favorite of all the tracks that sampled Chic. He also stated that "as innovative and important as 'Good Times' was, 'Rapper's Delight' was just as much, if not more so."

Before the "Good Times" background starts, the intro to the recording is an interpolation of "Here Comes That Sound Again" by British studio group Love De-Luxe , a dance hit in 1979.

The song was recorded in a single take. There are three versions of the original version of the song: 14:35 (12" long version), 6:30 (12" short version), and 4:55 (7" shortened single version). Ten years after its initial release, an official remix by Ben Liebrand entitled "Rapper's Delight '89" was released.

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.

R is for... Rapper's Delight http://www.jinglejanglejungle.net/2015/04/r-is-for-rappers-delight.html #AtoZChallenge
The Sugarhill Gang was a group assembled by producer Sylvia Robinson, who founded Sugar Hill Records with her husband, Joe Robinson. The members of the group are  Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright, Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson, and Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien, each from Englewood, New Jersey. The group and the record company are named after the Sugar Hill, Harlem neighborhood.

And now for today's earworm:


What does tomorrow bring?

Will it be Santana?  Seether?  Sonny & Cher?

or maybe "Shine"?  "Shake It Off"?  "Sharp Dressed Man"?

or perhaps a style/genre - Soul? Ska? Southern Rock?

Tune in to find out! 

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