Song of the Day: Apache (jump on it) by The Sugarhill Gang

Apache” is a much-recorded instrumental written by Jerry Lordan. The original version was by the British group The Shadows, recorded in June 1960 and released the following month. It topped the UK Singles Chart for five weeks. In 1981 the rap group The Sugarhill Gang covered the Incredible Bongo Band version of the song on their second album 8th Wonder.

Lyrics:

Ho! Ho! Ho!

[Chorus]
Tonto, jump on it, jump on it, jump on it…
Kemosabi, jump on it, jump on it, jump on it…
Custer, jump on it, jump on it, jump on it…
Apache, jump on it, jump on it, wowowowowowowowowo!!
A-hunga-hunga-hunga-hunga

[Big Bank Hank]
I’m Big Bank, I am the Chief
I got a lot of raps but I’ll be real
I never need a horse I like to chill
so I, drive up in my new Seville
My Tribe went down in the hall of fame
Cause I’m the one who shot Jesse James
Pound for pound, I will never break down
(Big Bank!) No sir, I don’t mess around

Awowowowowowowowowow!! Ho!
Wowowowowowwowowowowowowowowowowow!!

[Chorus]
Tonto, jump on it, jump on it, jump on it…
Kemosabi, jump on it, jump on it, jump on it…
Custer, jump on it, jump on it, jump on it…
Apache, jump on it, jump on it, wowowowowowowowowo!!
A-hunga-hunga-hunga-hunga

[Master G]
Like Kemosabi, of course it’s me
I’m better known as the Master G
A firing squad, sensed the danger
When they’re stung by the rapping ranger
Had a little talk with my medicine man
He said, ‘Get them squaws, fast as you can’
To all you girls, that wanna join my Tribe
Just move to my rhythm, and feel my vibe
Put up a fuss, in the end you’ll agree
When you come inside, my tee-pee
As I said before, you could sense the danger
When you’re stung by the rapping ranger
When Silver and I, take a route
All you suckers better step aside
I sting squaws, then I run away
HIYOO Silver, is what I say!

Ho! Ho! Wowowowowowowowow!
Hit it gang!

Ho! Ho! Ho! Aowowowowowowowowowowowo!

[Chorus]
Tonto, jump on it, jump on it, jump on it…
Kemosabi, jump on it, jump on it, jump on it…
Custer, jump on it, jump on it, jump on it…
Apache, jump on it, jump on it, wowowowowowowowowo!!
A-hunga-hunga-hunga-hunga

[Wonder Mike]
A pow-wow, just rock it out
Finger poppin to the break of dawn
Keep it rockin like the stuff that we call maize
(What’s that?) Hot buttered popcorn
You just hippa-hoppa-dippa-boppa bang the boogie
woogie betcha wanna boogie again
And you can put me to the test at your request
I rock you out of your mocassins
Kemosabi got down, took off his mask
He kicked off his shoes and did the Monster Mash
Tommy came along, saw what was happenin
His head began to boppin his foot start to clappin
Go slam, dunk, do the jerk
And with the mic is how my smoke signals work
They were jammin’ off a record that said it best:
‘Now what you hear is not a test!’

Aowowowowowowowowowowowo!
A-hunga-hunga-hunga-hunga (2X)

[Chorus (minus the a-hunga line)]
Tonto, jump on it, jump on it, jump on it…
Kemosabi, jump on it, jump on it, jump on it…
Custer, jump on it, jump on it, jump on it…
Apache, jump on it, jump on it, wowowowowowowowowo!!
—–

In 1982, this version peaked at No.53 on the Billboard Hot 100, No.51 on the US Dance chart, and No.13 on the US R&B chart. In 1995, this version gained additional popularity after being featured in “Viva Lost Wages”, a sixth-season episode of the NBCsitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,  as well as a subsequent clip show from the series. Using the distinctive beat and bongo drums, the Sugarhill Gang added rap lyrics with references, including:

  • The Lone Ranger (a.k.a. “kemosabe“) is mentioned extensively as well as his sidekick (“Tonto, jump on it! Jump on it! Jump on it!”) and his horse (“‘Hi-ho, Silver!’ is what I say”).
  • The lyric “What you hear is not a test” recalls the Sugarhills Gang’s earlier hit “Rapper’s Delight”.
  • The song “Popcorn” by Hot Butter (who had released a version of “Apache” as a follow-up to “Popcorn”) is referenced via the lyric “(What’s that?) Hot buttered popcorn!”.
  • The popcorn and its butter are referenced in lyrics right beforehand, recalling a 1976 Mazola margarine commercial “We Call It Maize” featuring an American Indian woman.
  • The “Monster Mash” is mentioned in this song as well as the Jerk.

The Sugarhill Gang

Origin Englewood, New Jersey, United States
Genres Hip hop, old-school hip hop
Years active 1973–2007, 2010–present (minor touring)
Labels Sugar Hill
Members Wonder Mike
Master Gee
Big Bank Hank
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This entry was posted in Music and Musicians / Song of the Day and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Song of the Day: Apache (jump on it) by The Sugarhill Gang

  1. Anonymous says:

    is there any more jifs

    Like

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