“Now Peter Piper picked peppers, but Run rapped rhymes”
If you were born between 1970 and 1979 I bet you have all ready rapped the rest of the first bar in your head before I’ve finished this sentence. The appeal of early hip hop for kids in the UK was instant. It was cool, it was different, raw sounding and nursery rhyme simple to begin with. It was so very very American and exotic but it was also street. The fashion was copied instantly. The music meant the difference between what the BBC approved of for kids to listen to and this other kind of scene which adults and TV stations didn’t understand.
My brother and I flipped for Run DMC when they first hit big. Every kid in the playground did. Being the youngest I didn’t have my own stereo when Raising Hell was released in 1986. I had just this cheap supermarket brand Walkman copy that could only Play (no FFW or RWD).
My elder brother had a midi though and his vinyl got taped for my Walkman. I was off. I was going to learn every word of Peter Piper and I’d do it before any other kid.
I couldn’t spin around on my back on a piece of linoleum that I’d dragged around with me for the specific task of spinning around on my back on. I didn’t have a big boom box I could place on a wall and blast everyone with the latest Electro compilation tapes and I didn’t have an Adidas track suit and matching Superstars to pose with my arms folded… but I could get from
“Now Peter Piper picked peppers but Run rocked rhymes”
“And on the mix real quick and I’d like to say he’s not flash but he’s fast and his name is Jay”
So I had that going for me, which was nice.
I tried it earlier when I started to write this post to see if I remembered it all now. I’ve forgotten half of it since those days. Which is odd considering the pace isn’t that fast or the beat that challenging compared to some of the hip hop that’s come since. For sheer groove and that chiming refrain though you can’t help but conclude
‘Goddamn that DJ made my day’