Album: The Roof Is On Fire (1984)

Songfacts®:

  • One of just three songs released by Rock Master Scott and The Dynamic Three, "Request Line" was the A-side of "The Roof Is On Fire," which later became famous for its chant.

    The "request line" was the phone line where listeners could call in to a radio station and ask for a song. In the years when songs weren't accessible on demand and when live disc jockeys were required at radio stations, this was a big deal, and it was always a thrill when the DJ actually played your song.

    The group was produced by Jerry Bloodrock, who came up with the idea for this song. Greg Wigfall of the Dynamic Three told us how it came together: "Jerry was a DJ, and had the concept of, 'DJ please pick up your phone, I'm on the request line.' We wanted to be in tune with this particular song for the radio station, because with radio, that's what it was. The request line is what people called into when they want to request a song. So we utilized that concept as a radio type of song, the message behind it, DJ picking the phone up and someone making a request and then playing the music.

    And then the raps that came in between the hooks were our own freestyle raps introducing ourselves. Like my rap name was MBG and when I picked the phone up, 'Hello, MBG on your request line, responding to your request.' I would answer the phone and say who I was, and then lay the rap down. It was more of a radio type of song, and it worked. I remember 98.7 KISS broke that song and when they broke it, it just went wild. It came out right around the time that Run-D.M.C. made 'Sucker M.C.s' It was like a battle as to which song was #1 this week, and it went from there.

    Did we expect it to do that? I didn't. When they started playing and playing on regular rotation, it had everybody surprised. But it hit regular rotation with major radio stations, and it's been in Billboard magazine. I think we were in Billboard with a bullet up to #16 before it started to drop."
  • The Soul diva group Zhané recorded a similar song called "Request Line" in 1997 that incorporated the "DJ please pick up your phone..." line at the beginning. Missy Elliott sampled this section at the beginning of her 2002 song "Work It."

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