#652: 1979, The Sugarhill Gang, Rapper’s Delight

by Charlie_East_West on March 25, 2013

One of the many wonderful things about music is that every single song in the history of everything forms a potentially differing opinion in eye of the beholder. It is eminently feasible to enjoy the music produced by critically acclaimed artists, as well as loving songs that make other people’s ears bleed. Everyone has a different taste. Vive la différence.

Such musical differences became rather too evident on a quiet evening last week. The All That’s Left team became embroiled in an extended email exchange on musical tastes, in particular, a heated exchange on masterpiece albums, which slowly morphed into a discussion on musical guilty pleasures.

We all have our guilty pleasures in music. I have a few which I am not going to share with anyone in a public forum, for fear of complete ridicule. So, having thought long and hard about a track that is considered as a socially acceptable guilty pleasure, I have finally come up with a recommendation. Let me break it to you gently…”I said a hip, hop, the hippie, the hippie to the hip hip hop, a you don’t stop.”

It is of course, “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang. It was released in 1979. It is a song so packed full of lyrical nonsense, it must somehow be w(rap)ped up as pure genius. If you do not like this song, your heart must be made of stone.

While it was not the first single to feature rapping, it is generally considered to be the song that first popularised hip hop around the world. The song opened the floodgates for so many hip hop artists, and its influence is still felt today.

The song uses a sample of the instrumental track from the hit “Good Times” by Chic as the base foundation for the rapping within the track. It has an innocence of its time about it. It is basically a song about having a lot of fun. As Rolling Stone described, “it raps about bad food instead of boasting.”

If you want value for money on your iTunes downloading – please download the 14 minute version of this track, and get some sunshine into your life.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

George_East March 25, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Absolutely wonderful track and the origin of many many great things.


Charlie_East_West March 25, 2013 at 10:52 pm

In fact, it probably does not warrant a place in the pantheon of guilty pleasures. It is in fact, just a pleasure.


George_East March 25, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Agreed – there is no reason to be guilty about Rapper’s Delight at all. Out and out landmark piece of genius.


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