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    Monday, 21 May 2018

    **The First Hit Single To Feature Rap Was By A Rock Band**

    These early recordings were huge regional hits, and some made cameo appearances on various Billboard charts. None of them, however made any serious dents in the pop charts until 1986, with Run-DMC’s team-up with Aerosmith on “Walk This Way.” Elements of rap music did make some cameo appearances on the pop chart prior to that, however – notably with “Rapture,” a January 1981 single by New York rock band Blondie. The song concludes with a rambling, extended and somewhat, well, unsteady rap by lead singer Deborah Harry that name checks Grandmaster Flash and Fab Five Freddy, leader of a local graffiti crew (and future host of Yo! MTV Raps.) Despite Harry’s awkward flow, and nonsensical rhymes about the man from Mars eating cars (and other things that rhyme with -ars), the song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and is considered the first rap song to do so.

    Interestingly, British punk band The Clash had a #34 U.K. hit in 1981 with “The Magnificent Seven,” a song that was heavily inspired by the burgeoning New York scene and similarly featured extremely clunky rapping by lead singer Joe Strummer. While the song did not chart in the U.S., it did predate the Blondie track by about six months.

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