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Jimmy Spicer (1958–2019), pioneering rapper recorded “Adventures of Super Rhyme”

Facebook/Jimmy Spicer

“Adventures of Super Rhyme” was a 15-minute storytelling epic, the first of its kind and an influence on later storytelling hip-hop

Jimmy Spicer was a pioneering rapper whose 1980 single “Adventures of Super Rhyme (Rap)” was one of the earliest hip-hop songs. Released not long after the Sugar Hill Gang made history with their “Rapper’s Delight,” “Adventures of Super Rhyme” was a 15-minute storytelling epic, the first of its kind and an influence on later storytelling hip-hop. The song got him signed with Russell Simmons’ Rush Management, and Spicer released further singles including “Money (Dollar Bill Y’all)” and “The Bubble Bunch.” Soon-to-be legendary producers including Rick Rubin and Jellybean Benitez produced singles for Spicer, who worked for Rush Management and opened a recording studio in later years.

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Died: September 27, 2019 (Who else died on September 27?)

Details of death: Died at a hospital in Brooklyn, New York of brain and lung cancer at the age of 61.


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Influential: As one of the earliest hip-hop artists to gain widespread popularity, Spicer offered a path to follow for later rappers who were still young in his heyday. LL Cool J was one of them — he talked about how hearing “Adventures of Super Rhyme” was a formative experience for him.

What people said about him: “All due respect to the almighty Jimmy “Super Rhymes” slash “Dolla Dolla Bill Y’all” slash “Bubble Bunch” Spicer. Hip Hip Pioneer & MC Extraordinaire” —Questlove of the Roots

“’Super Rhymes Rap’ was one of the first rap songs I memorized. His other hits ‘The Bubble Bunch’ and ‘Dollar Bill Y’all’ were certified 1980s Classics in my hood.” —Rapper Masta Ace

“Before Run DMC when Hip Hop first made its way downtown and we got put on Jimmy Spicer was there with Spoonie G, The Treacherous 3 and The Furious 5 blowing our collective minds. Rest easy Jimmy thank you for the music” —Record producer Dante Ross

Full obituary: New York Times

Related lives:

  • Big Bank Hank (1957–2014), rapper with the Sugarhill Gang
  • Sylvia Robinson (1936–2011), record executive known as “The Mother of Hip-Hop”
  • Lovebug Starski (1960–2018), rapper credited with coining the term “hip-hop”