The history of rap melding with metal goes back quite a bit further than most people realize. Have you ever heard of The Lone Rager and the song "Metal Rap," which was released all the way back in 1984?

The track has curious origin, as laid out by Megaforce Records founder (the label that signed Metallica) Jon Zazula, also known as Jonny Z, in his autobiography — Heavy Tales: The Metal. The Music. The Madness. As Lived by Jon Zazula. The book recollects bits of his youth, his pre-label days on Wall Street, the height of Megaforce's output (Overkill, Anthrax, Testament, Raven, Stormtroopers of Death, King's X and more) and how the '90s signaled a massive change as well.

This summer (July 21), the official audiobook version of Heavy Tales will be released, told authentically through Jonny Z's own voice. You can hear a snippet from the book directly below in an exclusive audio clip, where the label founder discusses having to summon some liquid courage to go through with the idea of laying rap vocals over a heavy metal instrumental.

Prior to "Metal Rap," rock and rap groups had already been experimenting with each other's styles. KISS' Paul Stanley delivered a rap vocal on "All Hell's Breaking Loose" off 1983's Lick It Up album. In early 1984, Run D.M.C. issued the "Rock Box" single, which foreshadowed the implementation of rock riffs on their 1985 record, King of Rock.

Jon Zazula: Exclusive Audiobook Clip on The Lone Rager's "Metal Rap"

Zazula was also instrumental is uniting Anthrax and Public Enemy for the "Bring the Noize" music video, which further paved the way for the rise of nu-metal just a few years later.

At the bottom of the page, you can listen to The Lone Rager's "Metal Rap," which, as Zazula mentioned, featured members of New York metal powerhouse The Rods as his backing band.

Pre-order the audiobook version of Heavy Tales (available through Audible) here.

The Lone Rager, "Metal Rap" Lyrics

What’s that loud, brash noise I hear
That leaves a ringing in my ear
Makes plaster fall and foundations resettle
Oh my god! It’s Heavy Metal!

You can’t go dancin’ to its beat
You may be tripping over your own feet
But chill out brothers, don’t get temperamental
There’s just no stoppin’ Heavy Metal!

Metal Music! Wait before you call it trash
Metal Music! Even though you’re close, some call it thrash
Metal Music! Makes you want to bang your head
And here come the Majors to sign all the Ragers

It started with a band called Cream
To play like Clapton was a dream
Then Iron Butterfly and MC5
Without airplay to stay alive

Of course, Blue Cheer had the “Summer Time Blues”
They came on fast and then were news
It seemed we’ve lost to never win
And then there came Led Zeppelin

Metal Music! Spurned by every noble scholar
Metal Music! Mass appeal amongst blue collar
Metal Music! Makes you want to bang your head
And here come the Majors to sign all the Ragers

Of course Jimi Hendrix cried out to the sun
And with Mountain climbing the onslaught begun
Ozzy and Sabbath filled up the void
Blackmore’s Purple and Rainbow just simply destroyed

It just kept a-comin’, no more hit or miss
From the wilds of New York came the monsters called KISS (Hey!)
Just reminiscing got me sentimental
You know we’re rappin’ Heavy Metal

Metal Music! Hardly played on radio
Metal Music! Is it too fast or are you too slow?
Metal Music! Don’t worry, you won’t hurt your neck
If you banged your head every once in a while
You wouldn’t be a nervous wreck

It quieted down then once again
It was New Wave and Disco, not Marshalls on ten
The music industry’s forgotten stepchild
All that leather and spikes they found it too wild

Metal just disappeared from all airwaves
Those demonic album covers with crosses and graves
But they couldn’t stop Metal , they couldn’t kill the Beast
On came the onslaught of Scorpions and Priest

And yesterday’s giants grow bigger than ever
Sold millions of records as producers got clever
Getting even heavier!
Yeah! It’s Heavy Metal!

Metal Music! Spreading fast throughout the land
Metal Music! On every block of Europe was a metal band
Metal Music! Makes you want to bang your head
For women and men who need it at ten

From England came Motörhead, Maiden and Angelwitch
From the U.S. Metallica, Quiet Riot, Ratt and Bitch
Anthrax, Great White, Dokken and Slayer
Everyone heavy, each musician a player

Manowar, Wild Dogs, Rods, Mötley Crüe
It seems each day there’s somebody new
From Europe Accept, Bodine, Bullet and Trance
And Warning, H-Bomb and Trust from France

Venom and Fate with metallic madness
The Japanese Bow-Wow, X-Ray and Loudness
And just when you thought it all reached a standstill
Came the Canadian onslaught with Exciter and Anvil

You want more, want your head to cave in?
I dare you to last one night with Raven

Metal Music! Snubbed by every noble scholar
Metal Music! Mass appeal amongst blue collar
Metal Music! Makes you want to bang your head
And here come the Majors to sign all the Ragers

Just one thing guy, what rhymes with Maiden?
...Super-Heavy Molten Laden!
And Metallica? ...Spectacula!
...That’s Heavy!
...I’m rappin’ Heavy Metal!

Note: Loudwire understands that certain current events and tensions may result in a misunderstanding of the imagery represented below, which features Jonny Z in a brown, fringe jacket (a tribute to 'The Lone Ranger' film), studded leather accessories and sweat-soaked, grey, executioner-style hood over his head. Commenting on his appearance in the '84 image, Zazula, who is of Jewish descent, said, "This in no way a political statement. At the time this was recorded I didn’t want anyone to know it was me [laughs] so I wore a hood. I also wanted everyone to know that I was fighting a war at that time to get metal accepted by the masses. It was so hot and sweaty under the hood. I must have been crazy to wear it."

The Lone Rager, "Metal Rap"

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