Rapper's Delight

From Academic Kids

"Rapper's Delight" is a 1979 (see 1979 in music) single by American hip hop trio The Sugarhill Gang; it is widely acknowledged as the first hip hop hit single. (Fatback Band's "King Tim III (Personality Jock)" was released a few months prior, but has been overshadowed somewhat in history by "Rapper's Delight.")

"Rapper's Delight" hit #36 on the US pop charts and #4 on the US R&B charts, and 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. In spite of a few more minor hits, The Sugarhill Gang quickly faded into obscurity.

Grandmaster Caz from the Cold Crush Brothers claims that Sugarhill Gang member Big Bank Hank used his rhymes on Rapper's Delight. The verse in which Big Bank Hank raps Caz's name ("I'm the C A S an the O V A") seems to support this claim.

To honor the song that many believe started it all, Erick Sermon, Redman, and Keith Murray covered the song in 1998.

The Spanish summer hit, AserejÚ (2002) (released as The Ketchup Song in Germany and United Kingdom), sung by Las Ketchup, tells the story of a boy who asks a DJ to play the "song he desires most". Since he cannot produce the correct title, he mispronounces the first lines of Rapper's Delight: "I say the hip-hop, the hip..." which becomes the meaningless refrain "AserejÚ ja dejÚ...".

The song was used in the final stages of an imaginative Honda commerical/advert in the United Kingdom in 2003/2004.

On December 1 2004, BBC 1Xtra celebrated the 25th anniversary of its entry into the British charts by broadcasting a revised recording of Rapper's Delight performed by several English rappers.


Like many songs from the time, "Rapper's Delight" was performed over the instrumental track of a disco hit (played by the group Positive Force), in this case Chic's "Good Times".

References to this song

  • The lyric in this song "What you hear is not a test." was also said in ShG's hit song Apache.
  • References to phrases in this song are probably too numerous to mention, as many hip hop and R&B artists drop verses that make obvious reference to Rapper's Delight lyrics as an homage to the first commercially viable rap track. Artists include Run DMC, Kid Rock, Wyclef Jean, The Beastie Boys, and Limp Bizkit.

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