The Sugarhill Gang
Tappen Park, Staten Island
Where would hip-hop be without The Sugarhill Gang?
Their single, “Rapper’s Delight,” brought hip-hop out of its underground music scene and into the mainstream when it became a multi-platinum-seller and radio hit in 1979. Its infectious beat from Chic’s “Good Times” made it an instant hit, selling more than eight million copies. The famous trio of Master Gee, Wonder Mike and Big Bank Hank went on to have several other hits including “Apache” and “8th Wonder,” both from their sophomore album, 8th Wonder.
Originators of the hip-hop sound, they showcased their rapping talents by writing a complex set of lyrics and placing them over a rhythmic beat, making it easy for people to get into the groove and dance. The intricacy of the lyrics in songs like “Rapper’s Delight” made hip hop standout when it was first introduced, setting a standard for other hip hop artists to follow. The Sugarhill Gang faded from the scene in the mid-1980s, only returning in 1999 with Jump On It, a rap album for children. With their inaugural hit in hip hop history, they continue to have a profound influence on hip hop today.