I remember when this shit first came out, it was all over the place. The way it exploded, you would think nobody had ever been boastful and narcissistic over some jazzy samples. It went to #15 on the Hot 100, #6 on the Rap chart, got a Grammy and everything. Yet, I’m sure that a lot of you who know this song probably didn’t know it was called Rebirth Of Slick, and I’m also pretty sure that a good number of you are wondering, “Who the fuck are Digable Planets?!” I think part of the reason a lot of people don’t remember this might be that a lot of people who enjoyed this song were smoking a lot of blunts, including the band. This shit is 4 minutes, 20 seconds long… coincidence?!? It probably is.
If you don’t know what this track is, here’s a piece on it at National Public Radio. Rapper’s Delight pumps me up for a lot of different reasons. There’s nostalgia; since I remember when it was new, when I hear it now, those neurons in my brain fire right up. This is barely a song: it has no bridge, chorus or any real structure; it’s just a bunch a guys talking shit over a bunch of other guys playing a snippet or two of music over and over — for 15 solid minutes. On top of that, it was recorded in one take. What the fuck?!? Who even thinks of doing that? It wouldn’t surprise me to find out The Sugarhill Gang recorded it directly to gramophone disc using a Mr. Microphone. Put aside a quarter of an hour today and blow your mind.