The First Rap Song

(Last Updated On: December 18, 2023)

Attributing the very first rap song gets a little tricky, as there were elements of rapping and spoken word poetry present in music before the official birth of hip-hop. However, here are some contenders for the title of “First Rap Song”:

Officially Released & Popularized:

  • “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang (1979): This is often considered the song that brought rap into the mainstream. While earlier recordings existed, “Rapper’s Delight” became a massive hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sparking widespread interest in hip-hop.

Earlier Recordings:

  • “King Tim III (Personality Jock)” by The Fatback Band (1973): This song features spoken word rhymes and boasts about DJ Kool Herc, a pioneer of hip-hop culture. While some argue it’s not pure rap, its historical significance can’t be ignored.
  • “Noah” by The Jubalaires (1958): This gospel group’s recording features rhythmic spoken word storytelling, considered an early precursor to rapping.

Ultimately:

While “Rapper’s Delight” popularized rap globally, earlier recordings undeniably pushed the boundaries of music and expression. Defining the “first” is subjective, but all these songs played crucial roles in laying the groundwork for hip-hop’s evolution.

So, depending on your criteria, the answer to “The First Rap Song” can vary. Are you looking for the first official release, the earliest example of rapping in music, or something else entirely? Let me know what interests you most, and I can delve deeper into specific songs or the historical context of early hip-hop.

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