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Sugarhill Gang
Origin Englewood, New Jersey
Genres hip hop
Funk
Years active 1975–present
Labels Sugar Hill
Members
Wonder Mike
Master Gee
Big Bank Hank

The Sugarhill Gang is an American hip hop group, known mostly for their biggest hit, "Rapper's Delight", the first hip hop single recorded to become a Top 40 hit. The song uses the instrumental track from "Good Times" by Chic as its foundation.

The members, all from Englewood, New Jersey, called themselves Wonder Mike, Big Bank Hank and Master Gee. They were assembled into a group by producer Sylvia Robinson who also founded Sugar Hill Records, along with her husband, the record mogul Joe Robinson.

Contents

History

This pioneering group inaugurated the recorded history of hip hop with their single "Rapper's Delight", a multi-platinum seller in 1980. Englewood based producer Doug Wimbish, bassist Chip Shearin, Little Axe and drummer Keith LeBlanc. Also Positive Force played on a few of the SugarHill Gang releases.

Contrary to popular belief, the Sugarhill Gang is the first rap group to perform on American Bandstand. This has been an issue between Run D.M.C. statistics and biographies located on the internet. The Sugarhill Gang performed "Rapper's Delight" before Run D.M.C. ever performed on American Bandstand.

"Rapper's Delight" was a #36 hit on the U.S. pop chart and a #4 hit on the U.S. R&B chart in 1979. It is often cited as the first hip hop single, however it can be argued that it was actually preceded by "King Tim III (Personality Jock)",[1] by the Fatback Band, which at the time was considered to be under the funk genre.[2] The Sugarhill Gang's place in music history seems secure as the first hip hop group to have a gold single.

"Rapper's Delight" used a track cut from a Sugar Hill house band called Positive Force. The track sampled "Good Times" by Chic. Big Bank Hank's verses were lyrics written by Grandmaster Caz. However despite the success, Caz did not receive any royalties for his contribution.[3] Chic's Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement over "Rapper's Delight" (the first of many such legal battles for rap); it was settled out of court, leaving Rodgers with a large cut of all future royalties.

The Sugarhill Gang never again topped the charts, though they had a few minor hits, such as "Apache", "Eighth Wonder" (which was performed on the American music show Soul Train in 1981), "Rapper's Reprise [Jam Jam]", and "Showdown" (with the Furious Five). In 1999, they reunited and recorded Jump on It, a hip hop children's album. They continue to tour.

Bob Sinclar collaborated with Wonder Mike and Master Gee on his 2009 release "Lala Song".

Discography

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Albums

  • Sugarhill Gang (1980)
  • 8th Wonder (1982)
  • The Best Of Sugarhill Gang: Rapper's Delight (1996)
  • Ain't Nothin' But A Party (1998)
  • Jump on It! (1999)
  • The Story Of Sugarhill Records (2005)

Singles

  • "Rapper's Delight" (1979)
  • "Rapper's Reprise (Jam Jam)" (1980)
  • "Apache" (1981)
  • "Kick It Live From 9 To 5" / "The Lover In You" (1983)
  • "Work, Work The Body" (1985)
  • "Lala Song" — Bob Sinclar featuring The Sugarhill Gang (2009)

References

  1. ^ Publication date of "King Tim III" as given in the copyright registration of the 7-inch single is July 25, 1979. Its copyright was registered on August 29, 1979. The publication date of "Rapper's Delight" as given in its copyright registration was exactly one month later: August 25, 1979, and its copyright was registered on September 24, 1979.
  2. ^ http://www.oldschoolhiphop.com/features/rappersdelight.htm
  3. ^ http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/bio/index.jsp?pid=331365

External links


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