History says that the first rap song to make it as a mainstream hit was Rapper’s Delight in 1979. That always made sense to me. Not that I cared one way or the other, but if I did I had no reason to doubt this bit of conventional wisdom. Until last weekend, when I found a bunch of old Sesame Street letter-and-number cartoons.
By the way, is there a single word to describe the flashback-style memory you get when you've completely forgotten an old Sesame Street song for over a quarter of a century, but once you hear the first notes you instantly remember the whole thing? Whether or not there is, I now think the first rap song to get national notice was actually Jim Henson’s King of Eight.
Best Sesame Street song that I completely forgot about: the disembodied acid-trip guy who counts to ten.