Friday, May 29, 2009

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Rapper's Delight
Artist: Sugarhill Gang
Album: Sugarhill Gang (1979)

I talk a lot in this column about music having become about so much more than just the actual music itself right now, with hip hop coming under the most fire.

Today, I;m taking it back to when it was about nothing but the music and paying tribute to the original hip hop party jam, Rapper's Delight by the legendary Sugarhill Gang.

2009 marks the 30th Anniversary of a song widely considered to be the first universally popular hip hop track, a song with a beat and lyrics so simplistic yet catchy that it's been remade by not only other hip hop acts like Def Squad and Run DMC, but folk-alternative guys like Keller Williams too.

We're all friends here, so I'm going to try and tell you that the lyrics of this song convey some kind of deep meaning; they don't. This is a straight up party song meant to get people on the dance floor and it works as well now as it did back then. And while the lyrics may be lacking the depth of some of today's conscious rappers, everybody knows the start of this song:

I said a hip hop the hippie the hippie
to the hip hip hop, a you don't stop
the rock it to the bang bang boogie say up jumped the boogie
to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat

Even my mom knows those lyrics and she doesn't know the lyrics to anything remotely related to hip hop. I fact, I would wager that she and most of you who aren't hip hop fans could deliver the next line too. Now what you hear is not a test, I'm rapping to the beat.

This song makes the Soundtrack today not just as tribute to the pioneers and out of respect for where the music I love came from, but as a glimpse back to simpler times. I mean, at one point, Big Bank Hank is rhyming about bad mac and cheese, mushy peas and chicken that tastes like wood.

As hokey as that is, I'd take it over bitches, hoes, bling and money any day of the week.

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