Who Was The First Rap Group?

10 mins read

Last Updated on September 16, 2022

Who Was The First Rap Group? Some people have different ideas, but the first group was undoubtedly Sugarhill Gang. Others point to Blondie and Kool Herc. Still others think of the Herculoids. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of different groups in history who were instrumental in making hip hop popular. Read on to learn more about these groups and their music. And don’t forget to check out the rest of our history section.

Sugarhill Gang

Rapper’s Delight is considered one of the earliest rap records, spawning a whole genre. Its creators stole lyrics from another source and created the first rap song. The song, which peaked at number 251 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, went on to sell over one million copies and launch hip hop into the international music business. The Sugarhill Gang rapped over fifteen minutes, and their sexy lyrics became famous.

The group’s name traces its origin to a recording label founded by Sylvia Robinson. Robinson was involved in the music industry since the early 1950s, and as part of the Mickey and Sylvia duo, she wrote the hit song Pillow Talk. Robinson also worked for All Platinum Records with her husband Joe, but the label went bust in the late 1970s. As a result, Robinson formed her own label, Sugarhill Records.

The Sugarhill Gang’s popularity is often attributed to the fact that they had no prior experience in the hip hop scene. The group was put together for a novelty rap record, but this served as the group’s introduction to the genre and the idea that rap could be a viable business. They later won the first major record deal for a solo rapper, Kurtis Blow. The music industry is now worth billions of dollars, and many record companies credit the group with making rap music popular.


Blondie was a successful new wave band that experimented with any genre of music. The group was one of the first to experiment with rap music. The band co-founded TV Party, a weekly public access show that featured interviews and off-the-rails variety shows. Eventually, the group branched out into rap music with their own single “Rap Queens.”

In 1984, the band re-recorded “Rapture” for a 2-disc set titled Blondie 4(0) Ever. The album also included Blondie’s tenth studio album, Ghosts of Download. This two-disc set marked the group’s 40th anniversary and brought the band’s legacy to a whole new level. In addition, Debbie Harry’s portrait was used for the UK editions of “Rapture” and “Beautiful.”

Though Blondie were not an integral part of the hip-hop scene, they made an influential contribution to the genre. The group spent time in New York around hip-hop musicians and created a sound of their own. The band’s lead singer, Debbie Harry, was rumored to be the first woman to rap on a recording. In the 1980s, the first rap group featured a white lead singer, and the band’s name was derived from the British slang for “drunk”.

Although the first hip hop group did not have the same name, Blondie’s “Rapture” ushered in the new wave of music. Despite the group’s success, they released a number of better singles over the years, including “Sweet Dreams” and “Baby One Day,” which paved the way for the rise of hip hop in the late eighties.

Kool Herc

While you might be thinking “DJ Kool Herc wasn’t really the first rap group,” this is far from the truth. The Bronx was plagued by street gangs for five years before something better came along, something called hip-hop. Kool Herc was unable to keep up with the new dance moves and techniques and was stabbed while breaking up a fight in 1977. By 1980, he had stopped DJing altogether and was working in a record store.

The earliest known rap group was called Kool Herc, and they were born and raised in Jamaica. In the early 1970s, they moved to the Bronx, where they played records. Their unique style was derived from the tradition of “toasting,” which is impromptu poetry played over music. The practice was something Kool Herc had seen as a teenager in Jamaica. Their contribution to hip hop is essential.

In 1973, the original group consisted of Clive Campbell, who moved to the Bronx from Jamaica. His peers at Alfred E. Smith Career and Technical Education High School called him Hercules, and he was soon nicknamed Kool Herc. During the same year, he also became a writer and deejayed at the first block party in the Bronx. The group stretched break parts with the use of two turntables. Later, Kevin Donovan and his crew would form the Zulu Nation. The group later changed their names to Afrika Bambaataa Aasim.


Hip hop began over 40 years ago with Kool Herc and the Herculoids. The duo consisted of the legendary Kool Herc, along with the late Clark Kent and Coke La Rock. Since then, hip hop has grown gracefully into adulthood, and the genre has even crossed over to Broadway, thanks to Hamilton. This new wave of hip-hop has also revived the rap-jazz connection of the early 1990s, thanks to acts like Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar.

Blondie’s Rapture

Though the band’s members weren’t totally on board with rap, they crafted the album’s “Rapture” with a surprisingly hip hop sound. The track contains a hypnotic beat, handclaps and church bell effects, and a busy session guitarist adds some off-kilter tootle-blats. The group’s iconic lyrics include references to the “man from Mars eating cars.”

The band’s second album, “Pain,” was an immediate commercial success, selling over a million copies in the US and the UK. “Rapture” was the band’s fourth and final number-one single, and was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It was also the first number-one single to feature rap vocals. Rapture peaked at number three in the UK, but only reached number five in Australia and Canada.

‘Rapture’ is generally considered the first rap song in the US. However, it’s not really a rap song at all, and Debbie Harry’s vocals don’t sound rap-like at all. In fact, her rap section sounds clumsy to modern ears. However, Blondie’s rap section is notable for being the first to feature extended rap as a part of a pop song. In addition to introducing a new musical genre, Blondie paved the way for others to do the same.

LL Cool J

LL Cool J is one of the most successful and influential hip hop artists of all time. This New York-based rap group helped to define the sound of hip hop in the 1980s and have continued to maintain commercial and artistic clout in a variety of endeavors. Among their many accomplishments are a pair of platinum-selling albums and numerous Grammy awards. LL Cool J also paved the way for many other rappers in the industry to follow in their footsteps.

LL Cool J’s first album, “Mr. Smith,” was released in 1995. In this album, he used keyboard lines from the Art of Noise. In the same year, he shot a love interest. In 1996, he released his Bigger and Deffer album, which became one of his most commercially successful albums. While he was overshadowed by other hip-hop artists in the early 21st century, he remains a major figure in the hip-hop world. He has even launched his own clothing line.

Despite the criticism that they received for embracing a pop audience, LL Cool J pushed back against criticism by releasing the highly successful album “Mama Said Knock You Out.” The title track – “Mama Said Knock You”-delivers a punishing mission statement. In addition to commercial success, the album also earned the group several RIAA certifications and was one of the first hip-hop acts to appear on American Bandstand.

About The Author

Alison Sowle is the typical tv guru. With a social media evangelist background, she knows how to get her message out there. However, she's also an introvert at heart and loves nothing more than writing for hours on end. She's a passionate creator who takes great joy in learning about new cultures - especially when it comes to beer!