Queen Latifah, Chuck D and more rap legends on ‘Rapper’s Delight’ and their early hip-hop influences

by Andrew Wright
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Rap legends

“Queen Latifah, Chuck D, and other rap legends recently reflected on their early hip-hop influences in an interview with The Big Big News. Recalling the first rap song they ever heard, many pointed to The Sugarhill Gang’s iconic track, ‘Rapper’s Delight.’ For Chuck D, the moment was a revelation during a college party in 1979 when the song played for an astonishing 15 minutes, solidifying the emergence of rap as a musical genre.

Queen Latifah, hailing from Newark, New Jersey, fondly remembers ‘Rapper’s Delight’ as a crucial song in her early exposure to rap. However, she also holds Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force’s ‘Planet Rock’ close to her heart, acknowledging its significant impact on shaping the genre’s sound.

E-40, growing up in Northern California, was instantly hooked on hip-hop upon hearing ‘Rapper’s Delight’ on a local radio station. This defining moment inspired his passion for rap, leading him to become an influential rapper himself.

Lil Jon, too, cites ‘Rapper’s Delight’ as one of his earliest hip-hop experiences, but it was seeing rap groups like the Fat Boys and Whodini in concert that turned him into a super fan of the genre.

Roxanne Shante recalls being introduced to the essence of hip-hop through the rhyming skills of the late comedian-poet Nipsey Russell, leaving a lasting impact on her as one of the first prominent female rappers.

Too Short’s love for funk music shifted when he heard ‘Rapper’s Delight’ in 1979, leading him to embrace hip-hop and eventually become a successful rapper and beatboxer.

For Doug E. Fresh, the first-ever rap song he heard set him on a lifelong journey with hip-hop, eventually becoming a trailblazing artist in the industry.

DJ Kid Capri’s connection to hip-hop runs deep, with his uncle being involved in the Fatback Band, which recorded the prelude to ‘Rapper’s Delight,’ titled ‘King Tim III (Personality Jock).’

Method Man’s introduction to rap came through ‘Rapper’s Delight,’ but Run-D.M.C.’s ‘Sucker MCs (Krush-Groove 1)’ was the song that truly resonated with him, shaping his passion for the new wave of hip-hop.

Big Daddy Kane recalls memorizing the lyrics of Jimmy Spicer’s ‘Adventures of Super Rhymes,’ appreciating its storytelling style and influence on early rap.

DJ Jazzy Jeff found a personal connection to ‘Rapper’s Delight,’ feeling like the song was made specifically for him, solidifying his love for hip-hop.

And lastly, Jermaine Dupri, reflecting on his journey as a rap mogul, attributes his early exposure to ‘Rapper’s Delight’ at the age of 10 as the beginning of his successful career in the music industry.

These legends’ stories shed light on the significant impact of ‘Rapper’s Delight’ and how it sparked a sense of discovery during rap’s early years, influencing an entire generation of artists and shaping the trajectory of hip-hop as a global phenomenon.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Rap legends

What is the significance of “Rapper’s Delight” in hip-hop history?

“Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang holds immense significance in hip-hop history. Released in 1979, it was one of the first rap songs to gain mainstream attention and introduced rap to a broader audience. Many rap legends, including Queen Latifah, Chuck D, Method Man, and E-40, cite it as their first exposure to the genre.

How did “Rapper’s Delight” impact early hip-hop artists?

The song “Rapper’s Delight” had a profound impact on early hip-hop artists, inspiring them to explore and embrace the genre further. It acted as a catalyst, propelling rap’s popularity and contributing to the growth of the hip-hop culture we know today.

Which other songs influenced the early hip-hop scene?

Besides “Rapper’s Delight,” other songs that played a crucial role in shaping early hip-hop include Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force’s “Planet Rock,” Run-D.M.C.’s “Sucker MCs (Krush-Groove 1),” and Jimmy Spicer’s “Adventures of Super Rhymes.” These tracks helped pave the way for the development of rap as an influential and diverse musical genre.

How did rap pioneers recall their first experiences with hip-hop?

In the interviews with hip-hop legends, they shared nostalgic memories of hearing rap for the first time. Some discovered it at college parties, on the radio, or through influential family members. These early encounters sparked a sense of fascination and passion for the genre, leading them to pursue careers as prominent rap artists.

How has hip-hop evolved since its early days?

Hip-hop has come a long way since its early days in the Bronx in 1973. It has evolved into a global cultural phenomenon, encompassing various styles, sub-genres, and influences. The genre continues to thrive as a powerful platform for artistic expression, social commentary, and cultural representation.

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