Yes, this is a real thing that happened.
In 1983, Rodney Dangerfied released the Rappin’ Rodney album, which was basically Rodney doing his usual routine but this time, he was rapping about how he didn’t get no respect instead of just talking about it. It’s always easy to make fun of these celebrity projects but this one gets a pass because it’s Rodney Dangerfield and he obviously wasn’t trying to start a new career as a rapper. Dangerfield received a Grammy nomination for Rappin’ Rodney so there’s that.
This video was reportedly popular when it was released on MTV in 1983. Since MTV didn’t play black artists during the first few years of its existence, you have to wonder how many many early MTV viewers were first exposed to rap as a result of Rodney Dangerfield. Pat Benatar and Don Novello both make appearances in this video. Novello appears as Father Guido Sarducci, his SNL character who was never really that funny but still showed up on a frequent basis.