King Tim III (Personality Jock)

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"King Tim III (Personality Jock)"
Single by Fatback Band
from the album Fatback XII
A-side"You're My Candy Sweet"
ReleasedMarch 25, 1979
4:10 (Single edit)
LabelSpring Records
Songwriter(s)Fred Demery, Bill Curtis
Producer(s)Fatback Band, Jerry Thomas
King Tim III (Music Video) on YouTube

"King Tim III (Personality Jock)" is a 1979 hip hop song by the Fatback Band from the disco album Fatback XII. Engineered by Delano “Rock” McLaurin and released on March 25, 1979,[1] this song is often cited[2] as the beginning of recorded hip hop music. The title refers to vocalist Tim Washington. A few months later, "Rapper's Delight" came out, which is widely regarded as the first commercially released hip hop song.

The song was originally the B-side of the 7-inch single, with the A-side "You're My Candy Sweet" a mid-tempo disco song. However the song stalled at #67 after 4-weeks on the R&B chart and was replaced the following week with "King Tim III (Personality Jock)" on the chart. It peaked at #26 on the R&B chart and stayed on for 11 weeks.


The origin of "King Tim III" starts when Bill was in his studio with his co-producer Jerry Thomas or as Bill called him "his right hand man". Bill said to him "Jerry, look at this album we doing , it's the Bad Back Seven album." Jerry asks him what he want him to do and Curtis says "I don't know... let's do a rap man!" Jerry said the following sentence, "Do a rap? Hell, we can't even talk!" Curtis recalls, "One of the roaders is in the studio with us... Avery, and he said "Hey man, I got a buddy who lives up there in the projects, he's a great rapper.", and I said "Can he rap?" and he said, "Yeah man!" and I said "Bring him in, tomorrow night." and he brought in Timothy Washington and I had to track him down 8 hours in Venice and everything. I flew him in on the trip and I said "Hey man, go in there and start rapping." , and he just started rapping... and that's how it all came about."[3]


  1. ^ Publication date of "King Tim III" as given in the copyright registration of the 7-inch single. Its copyright was registered on August 29, 1979. The publication date of "Rapper's Delight" as given in its copyright registration was August 25, 1979, and its copyright was registered on September 24, 1979.
  2. ^ To the break of dawn, William Jelani Cobb, p44
  3. ^ Futch, Michael (March 7, 2020). "The first rap record didn't come from the Sugarhill Gang. It came from Fayetteville's Bill Curtis and his Fatback Band". Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved March 28, 2020.

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