1989 was the first year the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences decided to recognize Hip Hop with its own awards. On this day [February 22nd] at the 31st Grammy Awards, the first ever award for Best Rap Performance was given to DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (also known as rapper turned actor Will Smith) for their hit single “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”
“Parents Just Don’t Understand” is one of the singles from the duo’s second studio album, He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper. This song was one of two tracks to win this award before it started its 22-year hiatus in 1990. The song had very much commercial success and peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper was the first double album in Hip Hop and went triple platinum on February 1st, 1995. It is hands down the duo’s most successful musical work.
This song shares this award with someone of the most prolific songs in rap history. Fellow award winners include Young MC for “Bust a Move,” Jay-Z and Kanye West for “Otis” and “N*ggas in Paris” and Kendrick Lamar for “i” and “Alright.”