Iconic rap crew Sugarhill Gang‘s “Rapper’s Delight” have finally received the proper recognition it deserves by getting honored in the Library of Congress this week.
Sugarhill Gang’s classic along with hits from the late Donna Summer and Prince are also now in the Library of Congress.
Donna Summer’s throbbing 1977 hit “I Feel Love”; Prince’s 1984 “Purple Rain” album; the first known commercial sound recording, dating to 1888; the Sugar Hill Gang’s watershed rap record “Rapper’s Delight”; and 1930s and ’40s news reports and speech excerpts from journalist Edward R. Murrow‘s “I Can Hear It Now” radio program are among 25 sound recordings newly enshrined in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry, library officials announced Wednesday. (South Bend Tribune)
The rap veterans’ 1970’s anthem is known for its duration and tales of urban life.
“Rapper’s Delight,” Sugarhill Gang (1979)?The Sugarhill Gang’s infectious dance number from late 1979 might be said to have launched an entire genre. Although spoken word had been a component of recorded American popular music for decades, this trio’s rhythmic rhyming inspired many future MCs and rap artists. The album version of “Rapper’s Delight” is an epic 14 1/2 minute salvo of irreverent stories and creative wordplay. The song dates from hip-hop’s infancy. As such, it does not address subject matter that has given rap music both positive and negative notoriety, but the song’s inventive rhymes, complex counter-rhythms and brash boastfulness presage the tenets of hip hop. “Rapper’s Delight” also reflects an early instance of music sampling, drawing its bass line and other features from Chic’s 1979 hit “Good Times.” As a result of an out-of-court settlement for copyright infringement, songwriting credits for “Rapper’s Delight” include that song’s composers, Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards, as well as Sylvia Robinson and the Sugarhill Gang (Michael Wright, Guy O’Brien, and Henry Jackson).” (XXL Mag)
Last year, De La Soul’s 1989 debut 3 Feet High and Rising made it into the Library of Congress.
Every year, the Library of Congress chooses 25 sound recordings to preserve. This year’s haul includes underwater recordings of humpback whales, which could easily be mistaken for some kind of avant-garde electronica. The rest of the list, however, is dominated by actual songs — and it’s a diverse bunch. The list includes “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” a collaboration by Roy Rogers, Tim Spencer and Bob Nolan (they called themselves The Sons of the Pioneers), recorded in 1934. The hip-hop trio De La Soul sampled Steely Dan‘s 1977 album Aja on its 1989 hit “Eye Know.” That song, in turn, appeared on De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, which is also being added to the collection this year. (National Public Radio)
A year prior, the late Tupac Shakur became the third hip-hop artist to get honored.
The rapper’s 1994 song “Dear Mama,” about a mother struggling with poverty and addiction, was selected for the 2009 National Recording Registry for its cultural significance, alongside works by Willie Nelson, Little Richard, Patti Smith and R.E.M.. Tupac is the third rapper to be included, following Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy. (Washington Post)
Check out The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” below: