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Song of the Week: Rapture

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Song of the Week: Rapture

“Rapture,” one of the first studio recorded songs featuring rap vocals was oddly released by the new-wave group, Blondie in 1981.  Blondie achieved popularity in the late 1970s with their genre mixing of hip-hop, reggae, funk, pop and punk rock. Yet, due to their underground status and relationship with Iggy Pop and Cherie Currie, the group was branded as exclusively punk.

This was until “Rapture,” written by Deborah Harry and Chris Stein dropped the names of hip-hop legends Fab-Five Freddy and Grandmaster Flash into their lyrics. With the introduction of these pioneers into popular music, hip-hop and rap culture became mainstream and rap today as we know it, was introduced to all of America. Prior to the release of “Rapture,” punk and rap culture were almost entirely formed to be “against the man,” or, anti-establishment.

However, the artistry of the genres was revealed to the country through both “Rapture” and “Rapper’s Delight,” another introductory song for rap culture. Rap in mainstream culture was not anticipated or even wanted from rap pioneers such as Fab-Five Freddy, Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, and the general Zulu Nation, a collective group of underground rappers, disc jockeys, and graffiti artists. Together, they were the founders of hip-hop culture. Blondie’s take on hip-hop with “Rapture” combined funk, disco, and rock.

The song begins with a foot-tapping beat that is a rock style but is combined with a heavy bass line common in funk. Debbie Harry’s vocals seemingly become the beat with her powerful voice. The song was made for her voice, and the head bopping factor of the single proves this. Although Harry’s rap sounds almost humorous, with rhymes such as, “Don’t strain your brain, paint a train,” the lyrics add to the novelty of the song and one feels the desire to rap alongside Harry.

The suggested time of listening to Rapture is right when you wake up in the morning, every morning. The crescendo of both Christ Stein’s guitar and Debbie Harry’s vocals coincides perfectly with getting up out of bed, and you can’t help but dance.

Click the link below the check out this rare hit for yourself! 

Contact the writer, Erin Gaul, at 36eringaul@csdecatur.net 

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons 

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Decatur High School, GA
Song of the Week: Rapture