1981: Year Three in the Hip-Hop History Video Series

Hip-Hop has spread out of New York and is now catching on worldwide. We kick off the video with a British novelty/comedy act called The Evasions which comprised of U.K. TV producers Graham De Wilde and Adrian Sear who released a couple singles and EP's. This track titled 'Wikka Wrap' was actually sampled by Coolio on in his 1996 single "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)".

Things are also happening on the West Coast of the USA where Larry "Captain Rapp" Glenn and DJ Michael "Disco Daddy" Khalfani and make the first authentic West Coast Hip-Hop record. Disco Daddy went on to form the L.A. Breakers who performed in the closing ceremony of the 1984 Olympics, with a crew that contained future actors Cuba Gooding Jr. and Raymond Cruz. Captain Rapp released the biggest hit of his career the subsequent year, titled 'Bad Times (I Can't Stand It) which lyrically touches sensitive topics, including unemployment, child sexual abuse, AIDS, Salvadoran Civil War and even nuclear war, in contrast to uptempo synth-funk melody and soulful vocals. 

Back in New York, we have 'The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel' which is a live DJ mix recording of Flash scratching and mixing records from various groups using three turntables.  The record contains 10 song samples as following: 'Another One Bites the Dust' by Queen, 'Apache' by Incredible Bong Band, 'Rapture' by Blondie, 'Life Story' by The Hellers, 'Good Times' by Chic, 'The Decoys of Ming the Merciless' by Jackson Beck, 'Monster Jam' by Spoonie Gee and The Sequence, '8th Wonder' by Sugarhill Gang, 'The Birthday Party' by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, 'Freedom' by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five.

We also have the classic song 'That's The Joint' by Funky Four Plus One, which appears at number 3. They were the first group to include a female rapper, MC Sha Rock, and in 1981 they were the first Hip-Hop group to perform live on national television, something, not even the Sugarhill Gang had done.

At number 2 we have another top group of the time, The Treacherous Three, with the classic track 'Feel The Heartbeat'. In 1994 they made a new version called 'Feel The New Heartbeat'.

At the number one spot, we have the legendary Sugar Hill Gang, who were the first rap group to ever appear on wax back in 1979 when they released the famous classic 'Rapper's Delight'. Here in 1981, they released another classic song called 'Apache (Jump On It)'. In 1995 the track gained additional popularity after being featured in "Viva Lost Wages," a sixth-season episode of the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Alexander Ramalho