On a list of “Greatest Side A/Side B Singles of All-Time”, this has to be one of them.
The 12″ single for The Show was released in August 1985 by Doug E. Fresh and MC Ricky D of The Get Fresh Crew. Doug was known as The Human Beatbox for his ability to mimic drums and other musical instruments, as well as make a variety of sound effects with just his mouth. He’s considered one of the fathers of beatboxing.
The Show tells the story of Rick and Doug getting ready to perform. It’s kind of a mid-80s hip-hop smorgasbord, featuring everything from beatboxing, to scratching, to sampling, to interpolation of the Inspector Gadget theme song. It’s kind of amazing.
The song was well received by fans, becoming the fourth rap single to reach Gold status, but not by critics or other rappers. Because it was a light-hearted, intentionally funny song, many MCs thought it was corny, just as hip-hop was trying to be taken more seriously. Many people put out diss tracks, including Super Nature’s The Showstopper, which would be the breakout song for the group that would later change it’s name to Salt-N-Pepa.
La-Di-Da-Di was the B-side and inarguably the more influential song. Rick tells the audience about his day, including getting ready in the morning and a rough encounter with two women who want to hook up with him.
Many lines from the song have been sampled, borrowed, and alluded to in other rap and pop songs that the Legacy section on Wikipedia is ridiculous.
Everyone from Miley Cyrus to Biggie Smalls to Beyonce to Color Me Badd have given nods to the song. Of course Snoop’s cover, Lodi Dodi, is probably the most famous homage.
Shortly after the record came out, MC Ricky D left The Get Fresh Crew and changed his name to Slick Rick. In 1988, he’d release his solo album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, a certified hip-hop classic. Doug never really saw the same level of success again, but is still a respected pioneer of hip-hop music.