Rappin' Rodney

Album: Rappin' Rodney (1983)
Charted: 83

Songfacts®:

  • This novelty hit was written by Rodney Dangerfield with beatmakers J.B. Moore and Robert Ford Jr., who had worked with rapper Kurtis Blow for his hit single "The Breaks" in 1980.
  • Rodney Dangerfield is not exactly the kind of guy you would expect to have a rap hit. At the time, he was a 62-year-old white comedian known for his catchphrase "I don't get no respect!" He was hitting his career peak with roles in comedy classics like Caddyshack, Easy Money, and later, Back to School.

    The Rappin' Rodney album was the follow-up to his 1980 comedy album, No Respect, which earned him a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording and peaked at #48 on the albums chart. Rappin' Rodney would peak at #36.
  • This was one of the first rap tracks to cross over into the pop charts, and depending on your criteria, the first rap song by a white male artist to hit the Hot 100.
  • Long before it was populated by reality TV shows, the budding MTV network was at the forefront of the new concept of music videos and was dedicated to playing the clips 24 hours a day. Because there were so few videos and so much time, most new videos found themselves in frequent rotation, like this one. "Rappin' Rodney" has Dangerfield preparing for his impending execution. He tries to enjoy his last meal of fast food, but it's being eaten by Saturday Night Live's Father Guido Sarducci (Don Novello). Pat Benatar also cameos as a masked executioner. The comedian can't even find respect in the afterlife as he's banned from the heavenly gates.

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