28 March

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2020 The 12-hour "Twitch Aid" concert raises nearly $3 million to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Over 70 quarantined performers take part from their homes, including John Legend, Rita Ora, Cole Swindell, Garth Brooks and Diplo.

2014 Folk singer-turned-reverend Joe Frazier (of the Chad Mitchell Trio) dies in his sleep at age 77.

2014 Nas headlines the One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide festival at the Kennedy Center in New York City with a performance of his album Illmatic with the National Symphony Orchestra.

2013 Session rock guitarist Hugh McCracken (Billy Joel, Steely Dan) dies at age 70 of leukemia.

2012 Blues harmonica player Jerry "Boogie" McCain, known for the self-penned tunes "Ain't No Use for Drug Abuse" and "Burn the Crackhouse Down," dies at age 81.

2011 Rapper Rick Ross is arrested in Shreveport, Louisiana, after being caught with one gram of marijuana. Ross was smoking the drug at the Hilton Hotel when guests reported smelling a foul odor coming from his room. Ross is booked and released the same night.

2010 Laura Marling's second album, I Speak Because I Can, debuts at #4 on the UK albums chart.

2005 On Rev. Jesse Jackson's internet radio show, Michael Jackson claims that his recent child-molestation charges are a racist conspiracy.

2003 '50s country/pop singer Rusty Draper dies at age 80 from pneumonia.

2000 Jimmy Page wins a libel suit against the UK magazine Ministry, which printed that he tried to revive his dying bandmate John Bonham by using Satanic spells.

1999 Rapper Freaky Tah (of Lost Boyz) is fatally shot by Kelvin Jones, a member of the fledgling New York-based rap group The Hellraisers. Freaky Tah, real name Raymond Rogers, is just 27 years old.

1996 Phil Collins leaves Genesis on good terms, stating he will concentrate on "Movies, some Jazz projects, and of course my solo career."

1995 Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard releases his first solo album, Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version. His food stamp ID card is on the cover.

1995 Lyle Lovett and actress Julia Roberts announce they are separating after 21 months of marriage.

1995 Wilco release their debut album, A.M. It is the first and last album to feature Brian Henneman on lead guitar.

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Blondie Scores The First #1 With A Rap


Blondie's "Rapture" hits #1 on the Hot 100, becoming the first chart-topper with a rap.

Rap hit some milestones in 1980, with Kurtis Blow earning the first Gold record in the genre for "The Breaks" and The Sugarhill Gang bringing a rap song to the Top 40 for the first time with "Rapper's Delight." The first #1 with a rap is not by a rapper, but by the disco sensations Blondie, whose frontwoman, Debbie Harry, busts a rhyme about a man from Mars who comes to Earth with an insatiable appetite. Here's what happens after he shoots you dead and eats your head: And then you're in the man from Mars You go out at night eatin' cars You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too Mercurys and Subarus It's all good fun; the levity is in line with other rap songs of the day that tell goofy stories. For instance in "Rapper's Delight": While the stinky foods steamin' Your mind starts to dreamin' Of the moment that it's time to leave And then you look at your plate And your chickens slowly rottin' Into something that looks like cheese Many in the music industry think of rap as a fad, which they are happy to ignore until it passes. But Blondie cannot be ignored - they're one of the biggest acts in the world, with trans-Atlantic #1 hits in "Heart Of Glass," "Call Me" and "The Tide Is High." "Rapture" is guaranteed airplay despite the rap, introducing many listeners to the genre. Blondie are not exploiting hip-hop but celebrating it. As part of the New York City scene that produced punk and disco, they were on the ground as hip-hop was bubbling up in the Boogie Down. One of their allies is Fab 5 Freddy, a grafitti artist who is a huge part of the scene. Blondie writes him into the rap: Fab 5 Freddy told me everybody's fly DJs spinning, I said "my, my" Freddy also appears in the video (along with Jean-Michel Basquiat, who is the guy in the sweet suit and top hat), which becomes the first rap video to air on MTV. The next line is a shout to the enterprising DJ Grandmaster Flash, who later samples it on "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel": Flash is fast, Flash is cool The kind of hip-hop that pioneers like Flash are making is based on existing beats, often lifted from disco ("Rapper's Delight" is built on "Good Times" by Chic). "Rapture" is an original - there are no samples. For many listeners, it's an introduction to rap music, a gateway to Run-D.M.C. That a white act is the first to top the chart in a distinctly black genre could be troublesome, but by paying homage to the forebears of hip-hop, Blondie pulls it off. "We didn't mean it as any sort of rip-off," the group's guitarist/songwriter Chris Stein says. "We meant it to support this movement and be positive about the form." It takes a while for rap to return to the top spot. In the late '80s, chart-toppers like "Red Red Wine" by UB40 and "The Look" by Roxette are peppered with rap interludes, but it's not until 1990 that a song rapped from start to finish reaches the top: "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice. The first black act to reach the top with a complete rap song is the teen duo Kris Kross, who do it with "Jump" in 1992.


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Tretierney from NychelseaJean Michel Basquiat is the DJ, not the guy in white tuxedo and top hat.

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