I was listening to Rapper's Delight by The Sugarhill Gang which is one of my favorite old-school Hip Hop songs and then it hit me when I heard the lyrics "Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn." Those words were so familiar and I can't believe I've never noticed the connection before. As verification I did a quick scan of my iTunes library and got a couple of other hits. Curious about the history of that phrase I did a Google search which wasn't helpful but Google did find a bunch of hits for lyrics.
So in researching the phrase "Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn" I compiled this list:
- The Sugarhill Gang - "Rapper's Delight" 1979
- N.W.A. - "Findum, F*ckum, and Flee" 1991
- De La Soul - "Breakadawn" 1993
- TLC - "Switch" 1994
- Def Rhymz - "Doekoe" 2000
- O.G. Spanish Fly - "Hotel Motel" 2001
- Tweet - "Motel" 2002
- Cassidy - "Hotel" (featuring R. Kelly) 2003
- Robbie Williams - "Keep On" 2006
- Pitbull - "Hotel Room Service" 2009
The Sugarhill Gang were one of the pioneers of Hip Hop so it shouldn't be a surprise the phrase started with them in 1979. Most of the listed songs are paying direct homage to Rapper's Delight, some are just random references to the phrase, and Pitbull builds an entire song around the catch "Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn."
Will we hear this phrase again in the future? Time will tell but I doubt it. Pitbull's song was so popular that people will immediately think of it instead of Rapper's Delight. It's a sad ending but it seems fitting since musically Rapper's Delight was basically a loop of Chic's "Good Times." Rapper's Delight probably holds a record for the most lyrics in a song so there is plenty of other material to pull a catchy phrase from. I'm going to predict that the next big Hip Hop meme phrase is going to be:
"Then you run to the store for quick relief from a bottle of Kaopectate."
Mark my words. You heard it here first.