Chart Performance: Pop (#1 for 2 weeks); 1981
Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne
As with other, earlier forms of African American-based popular music, rap was introduced to mainstream America by a white artist; in this case, Blondie. The heart of the emerging rap scene lay in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and Blondie’s members were exposed to it through parties and DJs. Guitarist Chris Stein approached front woman Debbie Harry with Rapture, and the two came up with the rap arrangement. Rapture moved into the #1 slot on March 28th, just one week after the Sugar Hill Gang became the first rap act to appear on national television, performing Rapper’s Delight on Soul Train. On May 5th Grandmaster Flash released the 12 inch single The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel, which included samples from Rapture and such diverse artists as Queen, the Furious Five, and Spoonie Gee. For the 35 year old Harry and her band, Rapture proved to be their fourth and final Top 20 hit: all of them #1’s.
This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.
- Mike Chapman
Lyrics Written by:
- Debbie Harry
- Chris Stein