Flashback Friday Video : Blondie ‘Rapture’

In January of 1981, “Rapture” was released by the American pop rock band Blondie as the second and final single from their fifth studio album, Autoamerican (1980). The song was #1 for two weeks on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and holds the distinction of being the very first chart topper in the United States to feature rap. And the song peaked at No. 4 in Australia and No. 5 in the United Kingdom.

The music video made its American television debut on Solid Gold on January 31, 1981, and was the first rap video ever broadcast on MTV. Set in the East Village section of Manhattan, the “Man from Mars” or “voodoo god” (dancer William Barnes in the white suit and top hat) is the introductory and central figure. Much of the video is a one-take scene of Debbie Harry dancing along the street, passing by graffiti artists, Uncle Sam, an American Indian and a goat. Fab Five Freddy and graffiti artists Lee Quinones and Jean-Michel Basquiat make cameo appearances. Basquiat was hired when Grandmaster Flash did not show for the filming.