Edwin Birdsong  

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"He's best known for the dancefloor hit "Rapper Dapper Snapper," a zany P-Funk influenced groove that doesn't represent the full range of his talent." -- Anthony Rucker

"I remember the two records I learned how to mix with: David Bowie's “Fashion”, and Edwin Birdsong's “Rapper Dapper Snapper”. I had to mix those records for weeks, with Juan, like, in my ass, every time I fucked up!'" --Derrick May cited in Energy Flash (1998) by Simon Reynolds

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Edwin L. Birdsong (August 22, 1941 – January 21, 2019) was an American keyboard/organ player, known in the 1970s and 1980s for his experimental funk/disco music. Birdsong has been sampled by other artists many times, most famously by Daft Punk who sampled "Cola Bottle Baby" in "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", and Gang Starr who sampled his single "Rapper Dapper Snapper" (1981) for their song "Skills".



Birdsong was the son of a minister and grew up in a strict fundamentalist environment. He joined the Los Angeles Community Choir for a period before serving in the Vietnam War. He went on to play in clubs in Germany, and then moved to New York to pursue his music career. There he headed a jazz and blues trio but experienced little success. While in New York he attended the Manhattan School of Music as well as Juilliard as a composition major.

In 1971 he signed a record deal with Polydor. Under Polydor, he issued his first two full-length albums, What It Is and Supernatural. Birdsong then issued one album for Bamboo, Dance of Survival, in 1975, and recorded Edwin Birdsong for Philadelphia International in 1979, which included the single "Phiss-Phizz." Birdsong also worked extensively with Roy Ayers; co-producing three of his albums and writing "Running Away" and "Freaky Deaky" with him.

Birdsong slowly stopped making his own music but carried on playing session work for many well known artists including Stevie Wonder.

Birdsong served as a mentor early in the career of Hip-Hop Artist/Producer Funkghost.



  • What It Is (1972, Polydor)
  • Supernatural (1973, Polydor)
  • Dance of Survival (1975, Bamboo)
  • Edwin Birdsong (1979, Philadelphia International)
  • Funtaztik (1981, Uni Records, Salsoul)


  • Rapper Dapper Snapper (1981, Salsoul) #65 US Billboard, Hot Soul Singles
  • She's Wrapped Too Tight (She's A Button Buster) (1982, Salsoul) #55 US Billboard, Hot Soul Singles

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Edwin Birdsong" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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