The Show (Doug E. Fresh song)

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"The Show"
Single by Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew
B-side "La Di Da Di"
Released August 13, 1985
Genre Hip hop
Length 6.40
Label Reality
Writer(s) Douglas Davis
Richard Walters
Producer(s) Dennis Bell and Ollie Cotton,
Doug E. Fresh (co.)

"The Show" is a 1985 hip hop single by Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew. Described as "a reality show of a Hip Hop performance" the track focuses on a conversation between Doug E Fresh and MC Ricky D (later known as Slick Rick) as they prepare for a show.[1] The song samples the theme song from the animated series Inspector Gadget.[2] The original issue of the song featured a line where Slick Rick mockingly sings a verse from "Michelle", but all subsequent reissues have removed this line since the rights to the song were never secured.

Originally released as a single, the track was later remixed and included on the 1986 Oh, My God! album.

Reception[edit]

"The Show" was named Spin magazine's top rap single of the year, and in Europe (where it received air time on pop music stations such as BBC Radio 1) it broke the record for the best selling rap single of all time.[3] The song peaked at #7 on the UK Singles Chart in December 1985[4] and was #8 on Jet's top 20 for the same month.[5] The record was produced by Dennis Bell & Ollie Cotton for City Slicker Productions

While one 1985 critic for Spin included the song in a list of "stupid music"—making fun of Doug E. Fresh's lyrics about his shoes, and calling Slick Rick's sendup of "Michelle" "pathetic"—he still concluded that the single is "the shit".[6] Billboard refused to take it seriously, declaring it the "funniest comedy album of the year".[7] Even when it became only the fourth rap single ever to reach gold record status, the same reviewer stated that it only proved that "talk isn't always cheap".[8]

Legacy[edit]

The song is featured in New Jack City and CB4, but is not included in the soundtrack album of either film. Chris Rock, star of both these films, would later have Slick Rick perform the song live to introduce his HBO special Bigger & Blacker.

In response to the song's popularity, Hurby Azor and his female hip hop group Super Nature recorded a diss track entitled "The Showstopper". While not a hit in its own right, it did become the breakout track for the group that would later be known as Salt-n-Pepa.[9]

In 1997, The Roots covered the song for the compilation album In tha Beginning...There Was Rap.

In 2013, an interpolation of this song was featured on Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2, on the track titled Rap God.

References[edit]


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  1. ^ Kool Moe Dee, Chuck D, Ernie Paniccioli (2003). There's a god on the mic: the true 50 greatest MCs. p. 88. ISBN 1-56025-533-1. 
  2. ^ "Rap Songs That Flipped TV Show Themes Lovely". Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists. 1999. ISBN 0-312-24298-0. 
  3. ^ John Leland (May 1986). Doug Be Fresh. Spin Magazine. 
  4. ^ David Roberts (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 215. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ Jet's Top 20 Singles. Jet. December 19, 1985. 
  6. ^ John Leland (November 1985). When Stupid Music Happens to Smart People: The Sounds of Nonsense. Spin Magazine. 
  7. ^ Nelson George (January 11, 1986). Rhythm & Blues. 
  8. ^ Nelson George (February 8, 1986). Rhythm & Blues. 
  9. ^ Sandy Denton, Karen Hunter (2008). Let's Talk About Pep. p. 46. ISBN 1-4165-5141-7.