Jail House Rap by the Fat Boys is the Greatest Hip-Hop Song EVER.
"Jail House Rap" by the Fat Boys is the Greatest Hip-Hop song EVER.
I know a lot of heads, even old ones, are like, 'wtf, nigga please'. It doesn't matter that it's impossible for me to win my case, but still, I make it. I say "Jail House Rap" is the greatest hip-hop song ever because It's a musical feast. The blend of funk and hip-hop on that track has never been eclipsed, in my opinion.
My First Point is Hip-Hop was initially created as Dance Music.
"Jail House Rap" is made to dance to. It sounds like you can break to the whole song. I dare anyone to try and listen to the entire thing without getting down at some point. The way Kurtis Blow, who produced it, combined beatboxing and the piano is amazing. The Humanbeatbox is a virtuoso of huffs, spits and hollow claps. While the piano playing reminds me of some Isaac Hayes joints I remember my dad playing back in the day. Blow gives hip-hop a groove that's fierce yet playful and fun.
Secondly, It Tells a Story
As we all know, songs that tell a story rock. The story doesn't even have to make sense when the music is hot. The Fat Boys got hungry and decided to break into a pizza shop to eat. Don't know why they would think a pizza shop would have premade pies, ready to eat, back in the early '80s but that's the premise. They end up in jail rappin the blues.
Finally, It's Fun for Everyone.
There are no cringe moments in the song. You don't feel the need to cover the kiddies ears or turn the volume down so Grandma won't hear the lyrics. It's not clean for any particular reason but it's cool that it is. Hip-Hop that women and men can dance to without having to consciously overlook demeaning lyrics is true Hip-Hop to me.
Not many songs can stand up to "Jail House Rap" when it comes to funk, fun, danceability, story-telling, beatboxing, groove-length, and mass-appeal.
I never get tired of listening to that joint.
I couldn't write a better article about the Fat Boys than the author of the great article linked above. The author, Scott Woods and I, obviously, both share fond memories of the Fat Boys. I remember playing basketball, every day, all summer long with that first Fat Boys album blasting on a boombox. By the end of the summer, the dust was so thick from playing on the dirt court, our black hair was dusty blond by dusk.
I did what I do and made a tribute playlist to go along with Mr. Woods post, so young heads can appreciate the original Disco Three, the way us older heads do.