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Hot! The History Of Sacramento Rap (Part One, The Beginning)

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Break dancing was the first Sacramento urban hip hop expression

First there was dance, then there was rap.

In the late 70’s, early 80’s, when hip hop as being created at block parties in Brooklyn, New York, Sacramento had break dancers. This was a time that created funky-fresh clothing, break dancing, electric keyboards, boom boxes, heavy drum tracks, and other roots of the hip hop culture. This era gave eventually gave birth to the “Breakin’” movie series, “Krush Groove”, and many more. To be the king of Sacramento in those days, you had to not only know how to pop, but survive and control a dance battle. The main DJ in town was DJ Darryl Dennis, pumping up local events. DJ Darryl was the local star, that was until The Triple Threat Three, which was DC Ray, Mike C and Captain K hit the scene. They were rappin’.

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DJ Darryl Dennis & Captain K’s dance single “Sweat”. Check it out here

For the record, DC Ray was the first Sacramento rapper, and The Triple Threat Three was the first Sacramento rap group.

Around 1980ish, East Coast pioneers like The Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, and Run DMC were creating a genre, defining a culture. Their messages were about fun, respect, and what was going on in the hood. DC Ray and The Triple Threat Three started around this time. As there was high school dance battles, South Sacramento became known for intense rap battles as well. “Burbank was the main battle spot, then MCs from everywhere started comin down,” reflects DC Ray on Fahrenheit Radio’s Fahrenheit Hour Urban Talk Show. Eventually, Sacramento’s unique hip hop style was on display in alleys, house parties, DJ parties, high schools, and dance clubs in the form of freestyle rap. It was pure, urban expression. It was the stuff that created what Sacramento is now known for; hard edged, in your face reality. When the dust settled, DC Ray and the Triple Threat Three became our Sactown representatives. They were 16.

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Fahrenheit graphic artist E-Moe getting down with DC Ray in Sacramento

During DC Ray’s recent appearance on Fahrenheit Radio’s “Fahrenheit Hour”, First Degree The D.E. mentioned the Rakim show and story they were writing for Fahrenheit Insight. “I was before Rakim!” includes DC Ray. Wow. “Back then, you had to sell your music out the trunk like Too Short,” remembers DC Ray.

Written By First Degree The D.E. & Jimmy Blog For Fahrenheit Insight

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