The Sugarhill Gang

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The Sugarhill Gang
The Sugarhill Gang 2007.jpg
The Sugarhill Gang performing in 2007 Mike & Master Gee
Background information
OriginEnglewood, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresOld-school hip hop, disco
Years active1979–1985, 1994–present
LabelsSugar Hill
  • Henry "Hen Dogg" Williams
Past membersHenry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson (deceased)
Joey Robinson Jr. (deceased)

The Sugarhill Gang is an American hip hop trio. Their 1979 hit "Rapper's Delight" was the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100; this was the trio's only U.S. hit, though they did have further success in Europe until the mid-1980s. The trio reformed in 1999 and did a world tour in 2016.

Formation and early years[edit]

The members, all from Englewood, New Jersey, consisted of Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright, Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson, and Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien; the three were assembled into a group by producer Sylvia Robinson, who founded Sugar Hill Records with her husband, record producer Joe Robinson.[1] The group and the record company were named after the Sugar Hill, Harlem, neighborhood.[2]

Their 1979 hit "Rapper's Delight" was the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100; the group never had another U.S. hit, though it had multiple European hits, such as "Apache", "8th Wonder" (which was performed on the American music show Soul Train in 1981), "Rapper's Reprise (Jam Jam)", and "Showdown" (with the Furious Five). The trio wound down in the late Eighties.[3]

Later years[edit]

In 1999, the trio reunited and recorded Jump on It! a hip hop children's album.[4]

After Wonder Mike and Hen Dogg left Sugarhill Records in 2005, the original members of Sugarhill Gang (besides Jackson) have performed as the Original Sugar and as Rapper's Delight Featuring Wonder Mike and Master Gee; this is largely due to a string of legal cases against them regarding the use of 'Sugarhill Gang' as their name.

On November 11, 2014, Big Bank Hank died at the age of 58 after a long battle with cancer.[5]

In 2016, the remaining living members of the original Sugarhill Gang, including Wonder Mike, Hendogg and Master Gee embarked on their first world tour in over a decade under the name The Sugarhill Gang. During this, they performed as the Sugarhill Gang for the Art of Rap festival tour in 2016, and at V Festival in Hylands Park and Weston Park in the UK as part of their world tour in 2016. Other places included, the Clockenflap Festival in Hong Kong on November 27, 2016, and they headlined at the Depot in the Park Festival in Cardiff, United Kingdom on August 5, 2017. In July of 2019 they played the North Nibley Festival in Gloucestershire.[6]

In 2019, The Sugarhill Gang Celebrates the 40th anniversary of the release of rapper's delight and the group's formation


The Sugarhill Gang discography
Studio albums5
Compilation albums9

The discography of The Sugarhill Gang includes five studio albums, nine compilations and fifteen singles.

Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Chart positions
U.S. top 200 U.S. R&B NZ
1980 Sugarhill Gang 4
1981 8th Wonder
  • Released: Late 1981
  • Label: Sugar Hill
50 15 44
1983 Rappin' Down Town[7]
  • Released: 1983
  • Label: Sugar Hill
1984 Livin' in the Fast Lane
  • Label: Sugar Hill[8]
1999 Jump on It!
  • Released: April 16, 1999
  • Label: Rhino Entertainment

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Sugarhill Gang Greatest Hits (1984)
  • Rapper's Delight: The Best of Sugarhill Gang (1996)
  • Ain't Nothin' but a Party (1998)
  • Back to the Old School 2 - Rapper's Delights (1999)
  • Sugarhill Gang, The* Vs. Grandmaster Flash - The Greatest Hits (2000)
  • The Greatest Hits of Sugarhill Gang (2004 Tour) (2004)
  • The Story of Sugarhill Records (2005)
  • Hip Hop Anniversary Europe Tour: Sugarhill Gang Live (2008)
  • Rhythm & Rhymes: The Definitive Collection (2010)


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
U.S. U.S. R&B U.S. Club Play NZ UK
1979 "Rapper's Delight" 36 4 14 18 3 Sugarhill Gang
1980 "Rapper's Reprise (Jam Jam)"
"8th Wonder" 82 15 38 8th Wonder
1981 "Apache" 53 13 51
"Showdown" (credited as The Furious Five meets The Sugarhill Gang) 49
1982 "The Lover in You" 55 54 Rappin Down Town
1983 "The Word Is Out" 71
"Be a Winner"
"Kick It Live from 9 to 5" / "The Lover in You" 50 Livin' in the Fast Lane
1984 "Livin' in the Fast Lane"
"Troy" / "Girls"
"The Down Beat"
1985 "Work, Work the Body"
1989 "Rapper's Delight (Hip Hop Remix '89)" 34 58
2009 "Lala Song" (credited as Bob Sinclar featuring The Sugarhill Gang)


  1. ^ "Sugar Hill Gang bio". Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  2. ^ Perrone, Pierre (2011-10-04). "Sylvia Robinson: Hitmaker who co-founded Sugar Hill Records and became known as 'the mother of hip-hop'". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  3. ^ John Bush. "The Sugarhill Gang Biography".
  4. ^ "Jump on It! - The Sugarhill Gang - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  5. ^ Guse, Clayton (November 11, 2014). "Big Bank Hank from Sugarhill Gang dead at age 58". Sun Times National. Archived from the original on November 11, 2014.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Sugarhill Gang- Rappin Down Town Retrieved 12-24-2011.
  8. ^ Livin' in the Fast Lane (album?) at Discogs (list of releases)

External links[edit]