Spoonie Gee (born Gabriel Jackson) was the nephew of veteran R&B producer Bobby Robinson and one of the earliest rap artists.
He recorded for Bobby Robinson
's Enjoy! Records
and Peter Brown
's Sounds Of New York, USA imprint. He sometimes performed and recorded as part of Spoonie Gee & Treacherous Three
. There is some controversy over the spelling of his nickname. In "Spoonin' Rap" he is heard spelling his own name as S to the p-double o-n-y. In interviews he says his nickname is correctly spelled with a 'Y', but he later spelled it with an 'IE'. The bulk of early rap records reproduced an MC's party routine with a loose sequence of narrative, boasting, and call-and-response. Spoonie's initial outing, however, organized a hip-hop
styled record around a romantic theme, coming closer to the lyrical norms of pop music
. Spoonie Gee is considered to have developed a unique rap style. "Love Rap" was accompanied only by drum set and congas, and the rapper's
next record continued in a similarly minimalist vein. The voice-over on 1979's "Spoonin' Rap" stuck to more conventional old school
boasting but looks forward to the gangsta
attitude in its jailhouse references. "Spoonin' Rap" was also prophetic in its use of flexatone and heavily echoed voice, suggesting the Jamaican connection that was denied in early interviews by some of the rap originators. In 1980, Spoonie collaborated with Sequence on a classic single, "Monster Jam
", probably the last word in the series of "Good Times
" / "Another One Bites the Dust
" variations, and a classic in the Sugar Hill Gang
vein, complete with a heavy bass line and crowd noises. His album "Godfather of Rap
" was released on Tuff City Records in 1987.
"Spoonin' Rap" was featured on Big Apple Rappin': The Early Days of Hip-Hop Culture in New York City 1979-1982.
In 2004, The Godfather
appeared on popular videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
, playing on classic hip hop
radio station Playback FM
. The song also features on the collaboration
album "Electro Beatbox