[8] The Sugarhill Gang, ‘Rapper’s Delight’

So I hinted ‘Good Times’ would be back, and back and back and back. Remember when sampling was a thing of wonder, prompting gasps and “they can’t do that”s and righteous indignation on behalf of the act being plundered? The wringing of hands over ‘Adventures On The Wheels of Steel’ and ‘Pump Up The Volume’? Well, that still happens – there are still dinosaurs – but the nifty steal is part of the rich tapestry now, and when it ain’t lazy (bow your head, P Diddy) it’s like fairydust.

But here we are at its mass-market dawn, in a perfectly silly rap song beset by wrangles over whose rhymes were whose but enhanced by its sheer length. That it never gets boring – through its 10 minutes or over 29 years – is testament to winning delivery and low-down base catchiness. Junior’s reaction is to get into a predictable groove – and then she throws me a curveball: “Is he black?” Well, yeah, he is, they are, they were, it’s just the subject of race has never been broached at home, and it’s not as if she’s hearing it. Now, we can debate how early identities are being nailed down at nursery, or we can just conclude that Junior’s never been introduced to Eminem. There’s a time for everything.

The Sugarhill Gang were paid back in kind, of course. By Las Ketchup. To the hip, the hop, the hibby…

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