“Rapper’s Delight” was possibly the first rap/hip-hop record ever recorded, and certainly was the first song of it’s kind to achieve any sort of musical recognition. The song was set to the music from Chic’s “Good Times” (a number one single in the summer of 1979). The Sugarhill Gang consisted of Wonder Mike, Big Bank Hank and Master Gee, all of whom hailed from New Jersey but were familiar with block parties in the Bronx where DJs would spin records and often speak or chant over the records. These “MCs” (Master of Ceremonies) evolved into the rap singer with a microphone in front of the turntable, not behind it. Most early hip-hop music was made by groups, rather than solo artists, and the Sugarhill Gang was no exception.

The group started in a club where Chic’s “Good Times” was played by a DJ. Chic’s Niles Rodgers became aware of the song due to an introduction by members of Blondie who were plugged into all aspects of the New York musical scene (and would record “Rapture” featuring a rap by Debbie Harry in 1981). Rodgers threatened to sue, but eventually got cowriting credit for the song. Thus, “Rapper’s Delight” set the template of rapping over music or samples from other previously released records.

Issued only in 12″ extended format, “Rapper’s Delight” was a platinum seller and eventually a top 40 pop and top 5 R&B hit. Though the Sugarhill Gang were find very little chart success in the future, their pioneering recording is hugely important to the history of hip-hop and popular music.