The Sugarhill Gang's "Jump On It (Apache)" (1973)
The Sugarhill Gang’s classic flip of “Apache” turned out to be its second biggest accomplishment. The group known for making hip-hop’s first Top 40 song gave one of the first examples of what one of hip-hop’s greatest samples could be.
The Sugarhill Gang didn’t expand on the instrumental, but rather tweaked it on just the right spots for its second highest-charting single. “Jump On It” stripped “Apache” of its grandiose horns, and focused on its most raucous, party-starting elements—that ever-recognizable percussion pattern and the riff’s call to the dance floor. By doing so, The Sugarhill Gang doubled the funk and tripled the boogie, plus that “A-hunga-hunga” certainly didn’t hurt its longevity.
Would “Jump On It” be as popular outside of its historical importance without that hilarious The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode? That’s impossible to know for sure, but when that riff comes on, do you really care?