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.
Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” may not have been the first song that had rap lyrics in it, but it brought hip hop music to the mainstream and popularized the genre. It came out in 1979. That year I was 9 years old and that little sister who would sneak into her brother’s room and play this record ad nauseum. I loved the album cover — it reminded me of the game Candy Land. Learning every word seemed as important to me as knowing the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ten years later in 1989 the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences realized they needed to evolve with the times and add two new categories to the Grammy Awards: rap and heavy metal. On this day DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince aka Will Smith won the first Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance for “Parent’s Just Don’t Understand.” There was so much controversy surrounding this award. There wasn’t time given in the Grammy telecast to include the category, so Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff boycotted the ceremony. Also, other rap artists believed there were more qualified rappers deserving of the nomination, let alone the win. I suppose it was more than parents who just didn’t understand.