[THROWBACK THURSDAY] “The Beginning Of It All”
- As far back as I can remember I’ve always had this affinity for music. Blame it on the rhythm or the words in-between, it has served its purpose as a great escape from the ways of the world.
Hip-Hop is no exception to the rule, as it is the most influential genre of music in the world. The cultural and social influence of Hip-Hop spans over two decades and shows few signs of slowing down in spite of being in the dawn of the music-sharing era.
They say every great story has a beginning. The story of Hip-Hop officially began in September of 1979.
Rapper’s Delight, the single released from The Sugarhill Gang was introduced to the masses from the debut album of the same namesake. The song was reportedly done in one take and has three different versions.
This track was in fact, not a test as three of New York’s finest MC’s rapped over the funk and disco-infused beat. The trio of Master Gee, Wonder Mike, and Big Bank Hank was at the time not even considered to be the “elite” of Hip-Hop with the likes of Grandmaster Caz and Kurtis Blow on the scene. Even without the street cred and popularity of their peers, The Sugarhill Gang would become pioneers in a movement unlike no other.
On January 5th, 1980, Rapper’s Delight broke ground as the first single of its kind to enter the Billboard Top 100 charts. While the single peaked at #36, the remarkable feat was the reception that the single received internationally. The song hovered in the Top 5 of rotations in over 10 countries for weeks on end. To say the song was a hit was a gross understatement.
The true delight of this song is the mark that it has left on our culture and society. I was watching an episode of The Simpsons and overheard it while the characters on the show were stressing crosswalk safety. Remember how funny it was to hear Rosie from The Wedding Singer recite it word for word? The song has been in everything from video game soundtracks to TV show spoofs.
It’s a feel-good track that is in fact, timeless. So much in fact that the single is considered historically significant according to the Library of Congress. A hip-hop song is in the National Recording Registry for being that influential to society. Yes, you read that correctly and look it up if you don’t believe me.
Not bad for a genre of music ruled to die out within 5 years of its inception, right?
The author Jerry Miller
Aspiring entertainment writer from Indianapolis, Indiana. I served as the Entertainment Editor for the largest African-American magazine in the city of Indianapolis.