The Sugarhill Gang entered the history of hip hop with their 1979 hit ‘Rapper’s Delight’, the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and they will be appearing at The Apex, in Bury St Edmunds, later this month
Music industry producer and Sugar Hill Records label owner Sylvia Robinson had become aware of the massive hip hop block parties occurring around the New York area during the late ’70s, so she gathered three local rappers (Master Gee, Wonder Mike, and Big Bank Hank) to record a single. Infectious and catchy, ‘Rapper’s Delight’ borrowed the break from Chic’s ‘Good Times’ and became a worldwide hit, eventually selling more than eight million copies.
As lyricist and lead rapper of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Melle Mel is one of the pioneers of old school hip hop. One of the first MCs to use hip hop music to communicate social and political views (in particular Reagan’s policies and their effect on the black community), Mel’s song ‘The Message’ became an instant classic and one of the first glimmers of conscientious hip hop.
Mel would also go on to write songs about struggling in New York City (‘New York, New York’), and making it through life in general (‘Survival’).
Grandmaster Flash split from the group after contract disputes regards to royalties for ‘The Message’, and Mel became known as ‘Grandmaster Melle Mel’.
The Furious Five went on the produce the anti-drug song ‘White Lines (Don’t Do It)’ (the unofficial music video was directed by then unknown film student Spike Lee). Mel also performed on Chaka Khan’s hit song ‘I Feel for You’, which introduced hip hop to a mainstream R&B audience.
Melle Mel was the first to MC in the style we recognize as rap today and remains one of the most respected MCs in hip hop history with an unparalleled lyrical ability.
The Sugarhill Reunion 2017 sees Sugarhill Gang’s Hen Dog, Master Gee and Wonder Mike, combine forces with Furious Five’s Melle Mel and Scorpio, to deliver the biggest old school hip hop showdown of the year.
The Sugarhill Reunion at The Apex, is on Thursday, July 27. Tickets are £27.50, ring the Box Office on 01284 758000, or visit www.theapex.co.uk for more information, or to book your tickets.