We’re throwing it way back this week with the hip hop song to become a Top 40 a hit. Released by The Sugarhill Gang in September 1979, “Rapper’s Delight” introduced hip hop music to a wide audience, reaching #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., as well as #3 in the U.K., and all the way to #1 in Canada, Spain, and the Netherlands.
“Rapper’s Delight” was preserved in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2011. Songs on the National Recording Registry are deemed to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important”. That’s even more impressive when you consider that the song was purportedly recorded in a one take.
The video for “Rapper’s Delight” predates the birth of MTV by almost two years. The Sugarhill Gang appeared on the syndicated Soap Factory Disco Show in late 1979. That performance later became the song’s official music video, and it shows that early hip hop shared some stylistic traits with disco in the late 1970s.