"The Rap" is the song that starts off the second act of Starlight Express. It has had numerous re-writes, all named "The Rap", so for clarity, they are referred to by prominent lyrics. "Hey You!" was the original version of the Rap written for the 1984 London production. It appeared in the 1989 US tour but with revised lyrics.


At the close of Act 1, Pearl has chosen to race with Electra rather than Rusty, Rusty lost the race against Electra and Pearl, Poppa incredibly won a race but is now exhausted. Poppa nominates Rusty to take his place. Now, in The Rap, all the characters argue what should happen next. Eventually they conclude that, although Bobo came second to Poppa in their heat, Poppa has the right to nominate his replacement and Rusty should take his place. Caboose volunteers to partner with him, Pearl races with Greaseball and Electra takes an unwilling Dinah.

Other versions of "The Rap" include the "Check It Out, Can You Believe This?" version of the 1992 London production, and "What Time Is It? It's Race Time!" in the 2003 US and subsequent UK tours. The Las Vegas production, which ran for 90 minutes without an interval, used a shortened version of "Check It Out, Can You Believe This?"

The song was not featured on Broadway which had an alternative number called "Hymn to Victory" (Originally titled "Hymn to the Silver Dollar") The "Hymn" was subsequently used in the 1987 Japan/Australia Tour, the 1990 Japan Tour and the 1988 Bochum production, but later replaced by "Der Rap" - translations of "Check It Out" and "What Time Is It?" versions.

Lyrics (1984 London Version)

Rockies: Hey you!
Who me?
Yes you, Race you!
Hey you! Who me?
Yes you, Race you!
Rusty's gonna race,
Rusty's gonna race,
Rusty's gonna race,
Rusty's gonna race,
race in the final
Rusty's gonna race—
Greaseball: No he ain't, no he ain't,
Belle: Who says?
Greaseball: I say, He ain't gonna race.
Belle: But Poppa won a place,
Poppa won a place,
Poppa won a place,
Poppa won a place,
a place in the final
Poppa can't take it,
he's half-dead,
chosen Rusty to go instead!
Belle & Rockies: Hey you, yes you.
Rusty can race you! Hey you, yes you,
Rusty can race you!
Dinah: Yes let him race you,
Greaseball: Shut it Dinah!
Dinah: Let him race you in the final,
Ashley: Let him race, what harm can he do?
Buffy: You know he's no match for you,
All: Let him race!
Greaseball: No
Electra: No! No question,
won't even listen to your suggestion
Pearl and me will never be seen
racing against yesterday's machine.
Components: Electra won't share a circuit with him,
needs water and coal and still wears a chimney.
Electra & Components: No style,
Pearl: Now that's not fair
What do you prove if he ain't there?
Belle: Right!
Coaches: Yeah!
Rockies: That's right!
Greaseball: That's true, Okay Pearl I'm with you!
Pearl: Hey you, yes you,
Rusty can race you!
All: Hey you, yes you,
Rusty can race you!
CB: Must be a steamer
Poppa was a steamer,
Rusty is a steamer,
he has a right.
Rocky: Who'll go with him,
Can't take a heavy truck.
Dustin: Look what happened.
CB: I'll go, I'm light
Electra: No!
Bobo: No!
Flat-Top: No!
Dustin: Why not? Leaving out steam trains isn't fair,
steam trains ought to 'ave their share.
Electra: No!
Components: No!
Flat-Top: No, I hate steam trains,
Don't look the same an' have different smoke,
eat strange things, keep the rhythm going all night.
And some next door. Just a joke.
Poppa: Steam will beat you!
Steam will race you!
Hey you, yes you,
Rusty can race you!
All: Hey you, yes you,
Rusty can race you!
Electra: No!
Bobo: No! I was second,
I should have won. I'm incredibly fast.
Nobody beats me, everybody beats him.
Where's the point? He'll only be last.
Dinah: He has a point there,
Coaches: Shut it Dinah!
[All argue]
Bobo: Will somebody listen to what I say?
Electra: Quiet!
Yes CB?
CB: You ought to take on Rusty and me,
If the French train runs and I'm not in it
Could go wrong at the last minute.
Trust me, I'll sort it out
tell you later what it's all about.
Greaseball: Let him race against Pearl and me,
If he wants he can have CB,
You take Dinah.
Tank: That'll be good,
Tank, Belle, and Dustin: That's how it's gonna be, understood?
Dinah: I don't wanna.
All: Shut it Dinah!
Greaseball: Electra, All this fuss you've made,
don't tell me you're a little bit afraid?
Components: Eleeeectraaaaa,
Electra: Hey you!
Rusty: Who me?
Electra: Yes you, race you!
Components: Hey you, yes you,
Electra's gonna race you,
Hey you, yes you…
Electra: I'll erase you, you'll be the last,
The future's a duty to rub out the past!
All: Hey you, yes you,
Hey you, yes you,
Hey you, yes you,
Hey you, yes you,
Hey you, yes you
Hey you, yes you,
race you--race you!

1989 North American Tour

"The Rap" was first heard in America in the 1989 US Tour. However unlike the London Version this number referred to how great racing was and Greaseball's claim for Pearl from Electra and had rewritten lyrics which were later used in the "new" London rap "Check it out, Can you believe this?"

Rockies: We are the Rockies, 1, 2, 3
We are the best you'll ever see!
Electra: AC, DC!
Components: E.L.E.C. Tricity! Electric!
Ooo! That's me!
Greaseball and Gang: Diesel! D-d-d-diesel!
Rockies: Hey you!
Who me?
Yes you - Race you!
Hey you!
Who me?
Yes you, race you!
Components: Hey, I make Electra the one they gotta beat
Gang: Nah, diesel's wicked!
Coaches: Yeah, diesel's neat!
Poppa: What about Rusty?
All: You're not serious!
He doesn't have a chance against his superiors!
Hey you
Who me?
Yes you, race you!
Hey you!
Rocky 1: Who me?
All: Yes you race you!
Rusty: If I were the winner of tonight's big fight
Pearl would come back
Dustin: Yeah, that's right!
Red Caboose: Any thing that I can do?
Electra: Hey Greaseball, I'm talkin' to you
Still got Dinah hanging on a lead?
A new set of wheels is what you need
Greaseball: Hey you!
Electra: Who me?
Dinah: Electra, let's race you!
All: Hey you
Who me?
Rusty can race you!
Greaseball: Any car that you can see
Would be proud to ride with me
Rusty, Rockies: Not Pearl!
Greaseball: Oh no?
Pearl's like the rest
she knows diesel is the best
Pearl knows she's a winner
she won't risk
losing the race with that floppy disk
Dinah: Greaseball stop it!
Greaseball: Shut it Dinah
Electra: All my software is designer
Greaseball: Pearl you know that he don't cut it
Dinah: Greaseball don't go
All: Dinah shut it
Greaseball: Pearl, come on, it's time to choose
You wanna boil with the oil,
or lose with the fuse?
All: Hey you, yes you,
Hey you, yes you,
Hey you, yes you,
Hey you, yes you,
Hey you
Who me?
Yes you race you!
Hey you, yes you
Race you - Race you!