Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Sugarhill Gang
The Sugarhill Gang is an American hip hop group, known mostly for one hit, Rapper's Delight, the first hip hop single to become a Top 40 hit. The members, all from New York City, 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 record mogul Joe Robinson.
Rapper's Delight was a #36 hit on the US pop chart and a #4 hit on the US R&B chart in 1979 (see 1979 in music), though hip-hop was dismissed as a brief fad. The Sugarhill Gang never again topped the charts, though they had a few minor hits, such as Apache, Eighth Wonder, Rapper's Reprise [Jam Jam] and Showdown (with the Furious Five). In 1999 (see 1999 in music), they reunited and recorded Jump on It, a hip hop children's album. They continue to tour.
Some claim that Rapper's Delight is the first hip-hop single ever, but it was actually preceded by King Tim III by the Fatback Band. The term "rap" is also claimed to be derived from the title of Rapper's Delight. In addition, Grandmaster Caz from the Cold Crush Brothers claims that Sugarhill Gang member Big Bank Hank used his rhymes on Rapper's Delight. This claim is attributed to the lyrics "I'm the C-A-S-S-N-O-V-A and the rest is F-L-Y," used by Big Bank Hank in the song. (At the time Grandmaster Caz regularly referred to himself as "Cassanova Fly.") But the Sugarhill Gang's place in music history seems secure as the first hip hop group to have a Gold single.
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