Rap
Rap is a rhythmic vocal style accompanied with backing beats. Joe & Sylvia Robinson started Sugarhill Records in Englewood, New Jersey in the 1970s.  Their first record, Rapper’s Delight performed by the Sugar Hill Gang, was considered the song that brought hip hop and rap music from a largely underground genre in the Bronx into the mainstream.  Grand Master Flash & the Furious 5, another act signed to Sugarhill, were the first hip hop/rap artists inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Curtis Blow, a break dancer and DJ from Harlem, was the first commercially successful rapper signed to a major label.  Kool Moe Dee was one of the first rappers to earn a Grammy award and he was the first to perform on the Grammys. Salt n Pepa sold over 15 million albums and singles worldwide and is one of the top selling rap acts, either male or female.

 

 

The Sugarhill Gang is known mostly for their biggest hit, "Rapper's Delight", the first hip hop single recorded to become a Top 40 hit. "Rapper's Delight" was a #36 hit on the  pop chart and a #4 hit on the  R&B chart in 1979. "Rapper's Delight" used a track cut from a Sugar Hill house band called Positive Force. The track sampled "Good Times" by Chic.  It became a worldwide hit,  selling more than eight million copies.

 

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five was a highly influential hip hop group composed of Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, Kid Creole, Cowboy, Scorpio (aka Mr. Ness) and Raheim. Their hits included "Superrappin'," "The Message," and "White Lines (Don't Do It."  In 2007, they became the first rap group to ever be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

 

Kurtis Blow is one of the first commercially successful rappers and the first to sign with a major label. "The Breaks," a single from his 1980 debut album, is an early hip hop classic.  Blow released a few more songs in the mid to late 1980s and made an appearance in the hip-hop film Krush Groove, where he performed “If I Ruled the World.”

 

Kool Moe Dee,was one of the first rappers to earn a Grammy award and he was the first to perform at the Grammys.  In 1986, Kool Moe Dee released a self-titled album, which ranked 83 on Billboard. He released his second album, How Ya Like Me Now which was his most successful album commercially, achieving platinum status. He then went on to release his third album, Knowledge Is King in 1989, which went Gold. The single from this album, "I Go To Work" is considered by some to by the pinnacle of his work, with high speed delivery and superior lyrical content.

 

Salt-N-Pepa is a Grammy Award-winning hip hop trio from Queens that came onto the music scene in 1985. The group, consisting of Cheryl James ("Salt"), now Cheryl Wray, Sandra Denton ("Pepa"), and DJ, Deidra "Dee Dee" Roper (Spinderella), has sold over 15 million albums and singles worldwide and are one of the top selling rap acts, either male or female. Salt-N-Pepa is the best-selling female rap act, and six of their single releases have been certified either platinum or gold.