It is easy to forget the effect Rap and Hip-Hop culture were having on not only the fans, but music industry heads during the 80s, people that werent exactly embedded in Hip-Hop circles or part of the black music scene of the time.
What is interesting is listening back and rediscovering just how much Rap was being underestimated in terms of popularity and how much enthusiasm some of these people had for a fundamentally new music and what became the voice of a new generation. It was influencing them enough to discuss it on national radio. RRR was reminded recently about legendary DJ John Peel recalling his attendance at the UK Fresh music festival in 1986, and how he’d been mesmerised by the actions of Word of Mouth and more importantly, World Champion DJ Cheese.
Above is another example of the mainstream discovering the power and compelling nature of Rap, this time from late 1988. The clip features Jeff Young interviewing Ice T on the weekly Rap and Dance show The Big Beat, on the most successful, and to this day, most popular UK radio station BBC Radio1. Jeff alerts Ice for the first time to the fact that rock monsters U2 had shown more than a passing interest in finding a copy of his first album Rhyme Pays whilst being interviewed by ex-Old Grey Whistle Test presenter [and the female John Peel] Annie Nightingale, in an interview a couple of months previous. Turns out that Ice had already been approached by U2 about a collabo. Thankfully Ice was busy at the time.
Bono was so amped that he asked the listeners on-air, ‘There must be a copy in London – if anyone out there actually has a copy, please bring it round’.
Huge propers to Sparkdala for the original cassette.