The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” became the first commercially successful rap record.

sylvia robinson

Billboard has called Sylvia Robinson “Hip-Hop’s First Godmother,” but she still never seems to get the credit she deserves for cultivating the genre of rap. In the summer of 1979, Robinson conceived and produced the single “Rapper’s Delight.” This took a culture of music that thrived on the street and helped to foster it into an art form that was suddenly commercially viable. The song became the first rap single to dominate the radio and the charts, hitting number 36 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and becoming the first rap record to sell over one million copies.

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