1: Sugar Hill Gang, ‘Rappers Delight’ was the first hip hop song that received mainstream attention and was the first rap song to become a Top 40 hit.
2: Blondie, ‘Rapture’ made by Debbi Harry and Fab Five Freddy spawned from Rappers Delight. This song is accredited for being the first pop/rock song which featured rap by a female of another race.
3: After producing the song “It’s Yours” for T La Rock & Jazzy Jay, Rick Rubin met Russell Simmons at a party for a show called Graffiti Rock. They went on to found Def Jam in 1984.
4: Michael Jackson Billie Jean was the first video from an urban artist to get played on MTV.
5: Ralph McDaniel’s was an intern at a NYC station called ‘NYC TV’ where he would get promo videos for artist weekly. Ralph went on to sway them to start playing more hip hop videos on their show ‘Video Music Box’. There were only 5 hip-hop videos originally on the station and Ralph went on to say they went from “around 20% hip hop videos to 70%”.
6: The ‘Shout Out’ originated in 1984 and has continued to be used throughout time eventually making its way to some of the speeches from the President.
7: December 1984, The Wall Street Journal wrote an article about hip hop as a business. Bill Adler told Megan Cox to write an article on Russell Simmons. Russell told her that he wanted to take her to the afterhours clubs to fully experience hip-hop. He also requested he bring his protégé LL Cool J with him.
8: Rick Rubin convinced Run-D.M.C. to redo the entire song for “Walk This Way”. It was first played at a station in Boston and within a week, it was the most requested song on the station. It was the first rap record to break into the top 20 on the billboard charts.
9: The 1986 hit, ‘My Adidas’ by Run-D.M.C caused such a hype that it caught the attention of Adidas, which eventually led to the first endorsement deal in hip hop.
10: Dapper Dan was the pioneer who instrumental in creating fashion in hip hop.
11: Jon Shecter and David Mays founded the mega magazine The Source at Harvard University.
12: Ralph McDaniel’s approached MTV in 1986 and began to convince them to start Yo! MTV Raps. They started the program in 1987 and it aired in August of 1988.
13: The first Grammy nominees that were rapper were Will Smith Jazzy Jeff, Cool Moe Dee, Salt N’Pepa, LL Cool J, and JJ Fad, but they didn’t plan to televise the awards, so they boycotted the Grammys.
14: Aresenio Hall helped to bring many hip hop artists to the television by letting them perform on his show. He gave Mariah Carey her first television debut.
15: In Living Color inverted the cast model of SNL. The show helped to bring hip hop as a style and culture to mainstream television.
16: Will Smith was the first hip-hop artist to star in a television series.
17: Vanilla Ice had the first rap single that went to number one on rap charts.
18: Because there was such a strong influence in hip hop, advertisers tried their hand at incorporating hip hop in commercials.
19: After being turned down by multiple labels due to his music not sounding like typical hip hop records of that time, Suge and Dre met with Jimmy Iovine, who convinced MTV to play the video for ‘Nuthin’ But A G Thang.’ Jimmy also convinced Rolling Stone to put them on the cover of their magazine.
20: Tommy Hilfiger was the first major designer to represent urban clothing styles in his brand.
21: Quincy Jones teamed up with Time Warner to create Vibe.
22: 1997 Bad Boy had 39% of the Billboard charts.
23: Heavy D ‘Nothing But Love For you’ was the first hip hop video that had actual models in it.
24: Busta Rhymes brokered a deal with Courvoisier Cognac which increased their sales to double digit figures.
25: After Timberland issued a negative statement about hip-hop artist wearing their clothing, FUBU was started.
26: When Will Smith dropped Men in Black, he elevated the success of Ray Ban glasses.
27: Biggie was one of the first rappers to purchase jewelry from Jacob the Jeweler. Soon after Puff visited, multiple other artists began rapping about the famous jeweler.
28: Against the wishes of the label, Mariah chose to work in hip hop artist which furthered the reach of mainstream pop.
30: Eminem was the first rapper to ever win an Academy Award for the song ‘Lose Yourself’ off 8 Mile.
31: Puff landed a ten page spread in Vogue called ‘Puff Takes Paris.’ Puff went on to land the cover of British Vogue and in 2004, he won designer of the year.
32: Jay changed the landscape of clothing whenever he dropped Change Clothes. It had such a large impact on NFL apparel sales that David Stern asked Steve Stoute to tell Jay Z to “Change clothes again because it’s hurting our sales.”
33: 50 Cent chose to not follow the route of artist before him by signing a deal with liquor or apparel company, and signed a deal with Vitamin Water instead.
34: Beats by Dre was started from a conversation Dre had with Jimmy Iovine on his beach.
35: Ben Howortiz (the Emimen of Silicon Valley) incorporates hip hop lyrics into all of his blogs for corporate strategy.