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Uploaded on Dec 21, 2009
"Rappin' Duke" is a 1984 hip-hop novelty song by Shawn Brown performing as The Rappin' Duke. The conceit of the song is that actor John Wayne (a.k.a. "The Duke") is performing the rap. (Wayne had died in 1979.)
"Rappin' Duke"'s lyrics pay loving homage to Wayne's cowboy movie persona, boasting that he was the original rapper: "So ya think you're bad with your rap? / Well I'll tell ya, Pilgrim, I started the crap. / When you were in diapers and wetting the sheets, / I was at the Ponderosa, rappin' to the beat." The song's constant refrain is "duh-ha, duh-ha," a parody of Wayne's distinctive laughter, sung to the music's slow beat. The song uses the hip-hop vernacular to refer to contemporaneous rap musicians like Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC, and also parodies the opening to Chaka Khan's 1984 hit "I Feel for You": "Aretha Franklin! Aretha Franklin! / Aretha Franklin! / Let me rock ya, / Let me rock y'aretha Franklin! Let me rock y'aretha Franklin, / that's all I wanna do, 'retha Franklin." Lyrics also allude to Ronald Reagan's presidency.
"Rappin' Duke" was widely played in 1985, peaking at 73 on the 1985 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Billboard chart; and also charting on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales for 1985. The song's success led to Brown opening in 1985 and 1986 for such groups as Bobby Brown and Stevie Wonder.
"Rappin' Duke" shares the beat from Too Short's "Blowjob Betty".