Considered by many to be the first hip-hop recording, Sugar Hill Gang’s seminal hit “Rapper’s Delight” has been entered into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
The 1979 hit is one of 25 sound recordings enshrined into the registry, reports the South Ben Tribune.
Others include: Prince’s Purple Rain album, Parliament’s “Mothership Connection,” and two hits from Bo Diddley, among others, for this year’s enshrinement, which honors recordings that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
Past hip-hop entries added to the Library of Congress include Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet album, Tupac Shakur’s hit single “Dear Mama,” De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising album, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s classic hit “The Message.”
Below is what the Library Of Congress says about the Sugar Hill Gang’s iconic song:
The Sugarhill Gang’s infectious dance number from late 1979 might be said to have launched an entire genre. Although spoken word had been a component of recorded American popular music for decades, this trio’s rhythmic rhyming inspired many MC’s-to-be and other future rap artists. The album version of “Rapper’s Delight” is an epic 14’1/2 minute salvo of irreverent stories and creative word play. The song dates from hip-hop’s infancy. As such, it does not address subject matter that has given rap music both positive and negative notoriety, but the song’s inventive rhymes, complex counter-rhythms, and brash boastfulness presage the tenets of hip hop. “Rapper’s Delight” also reflects an early instance of music sampling and a legal settlement; it draws its bass line and other features from Chic’s 1979 hit “Good Times.” As a result, songwriting credits for “Rapper’s Delight” include that song’s composers, Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards, as well as Sylvia Robinson and the Sugarhill Gang (Michael Wright, Guy O’Brien, and Henry Jackson). Selected for the 2011 registry.
Each year, 25 recordings are added to the registry. The public can nominate recordings at loc.gov/nrpb.