Charity Shoppin' #1: Rapper's Delight

(Photo by tofutti break)

Ya see: I am Wonder Mike and I like to say hello/To the black, to the white, the red, and the brown, the purple and yellow

If White Lines was legendary, then Rapper's Delight is in yet another league of hip hop heritage. Although technically speaking, probably not the first ever hip hop single (Fatback Band's King Tim III probably lays claim to that) but it was the first big hit - the second could possibly be Blondie's Rapture, bizarrely enough. Anyway, Rapper's Delight has taken the plaudits, and fair enough.

Ya see: I go by the code of the doctor of the mix/And these reasons I'll tell ya why

The track was performed by the Sugar Hill Gang, who quickly faded into obscurity, although not before leaving a legacy of this classic song, and Sugar Hill Records, responsible for yesterday's Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel, among many others. The Gang were Wondermike, Big Bank Hank and Master Gee (as they'll insist on telling you), no doubt their christened names - together they left this 14 minute hit to posterity, in the process becoming the first hit to only be available on 12" extended version.

Well, my name is known all over the world/By all the foxy ladies and the pretty girls

Facts, facts, facts. To be honest, there's loads more I could spout about the song (thanks wikipedia), but it's all a bit unneccessary. If you don't know the song, perhaps it will seem charmingly naive, its braggadocio less based on the number of bullet holes in the chest than today, but if you recall it as coming before literally every hip hop cliché that's evolved, it's significance starts to make itself known.If you do know the song, you'll forget all this and just revel in the awesome bassline and Chic backing (Nile Rodgers is still the greatest funk/disco guitarist there's ever been, bar none). You'll hear the cop-show intro and a nod of appreciation will emerge, you'll find yourself singing "say what?! " along with the track, and you'll throw some serious old-skool shapes.

The Sugar Hill Gang - Rapper's Delight
Grandmaster Flash & The West St. Mob - Wheels Of Steel/Electric Boogie

Buy Sugar Hill Gang/Hexstatic/Grandmaster Flash/West St. Mob

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