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Biography

The "Rappin' Duke" was an alias for Shawn Brown who back in the mid 80s released 3 records under the moniker. His "Rappin' Duke" single was a 1984 hip-hop novelty song and is considered to be a Hip-Hop classic. The concept of the song is that actor John Wayne (a.k.a. "The Duke") is performing the rap (Wayne had died in 1979). "Rappin' Duke"'s lyrics parody the hip-hop 'bragging' style popular at the time, wherein the rapper boasts of his/her seniority and superior rhymes and flow in their performance: "So ya think you're bad with your rap? / Well I'll tell ya, pilgrim, I started the crap. / When you were in diapers and wetting the sheets, / I was at the Ponderosa, rappin' to the beat." The lyrics also reference "The Beverly Hillbillies" TV theme song, "The Ballad Of Jed Clampett", with the words, "… Santa Barbara, that is / Swimmin pools, and movie stars", while also alluding to Ronald Reagan's presidency (The acting careers of Wayne and Reagan overlapped for many years). The song's constant refrain is "dah-ha, dah-ha", a parody of Wayne's distinctive laughter, sung to the music's slow beat. The song uses the hip-hop vernacular to make numerous pop cultural references, from contemporaneous rap musicians like Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC, to parodying the opening of Chaka Khan's 1984 hit "I Feel For You". "Rappin' Duke" was widely played in 1985, peaking at #73 on the 1985 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Billboard chart, and also charting on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales for 1985. The song's success led to Brown opening in 1985 and 1986 for such artists on tour as Bobby Brown and Stevie Wonder. This channel is dedicated to all the great rap music from back in the day. The music that started the whole hip-hop revolution, the incredible music from the 70s, the 80s, and the early 90s

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