There was a video made for this song, thus making it the first rap music video. It was a performance video with the rappers doing the song in a disco while the crowd dances along. It was low budget, but professionally done with decent production value (switcher wipes!).
The disco was called the Soap Factory. Located in Palisades Park, New Jersey, it hosted a syndicated TV series called the Soap Factory Disco Show
from 1977-1979. In 1979, The Sugarhill Gang performed this song on the show, and that performance became the de facto video.
Sylvia Robinson at Sugar Hill Records was an innovator in this regard, as she understood that videos were a great way to promote a song in Europe, and commissioned them for some of her artists (Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five got one for "The Message
"). As America caught on to music videos, the clip got a lot of exposure on New York shows like Video Music Box
that featured rap videos. MTV, which launched in 1981, didn't play a rap video until 1984, when they aired Run-D.M.C.'s "Rock Box
," but when they started Yo! MTV Raps
in 1988, "Rapper's Delight" got some spins.