The 1979 hit Rapper’s Delight by The Sugarhill Gang was the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. After this, the group never had another hit in the U.S., but they remained popular in Europe with hits such as Apache, 8th Wonder, Rapper’s Reprise (Jam Jam) and Showdown. The Sugarhill Gang discography includes five studio album, nine compilations and fifteen singles.
Rapper’s Delight is preserved by the Library of Congress, where it is included in the National Recording Registry; a registry for songs that have been deemed culturally, historical or aesthetically significant.
When VH1 compiled a list of the 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs, Rapper’s Delight was placed as #2 on the list. It is also included in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (#251) and NPR’s list of the 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century.
Original line up
|Michael Wright||Wonder Mike|
|Henry Jackson||Big Bank Hank|
|Guy O’Brien||Master Gee|
All the original members of The Sugarhill Gang are from Englewood, New Jersey, and were assembled into a group by the producer Sylvia Robinson, co-founder of the record label Sugar Hill Records. Both he group and the record label are named after the neighborhood Sugar Hill, a district in the Hamilton Heights section of Harlem in Manhattan, New York City. The neighborhood got its name in the 1920s as a reference to the ”sweet life” enjoyed there by wealthy and influential African Americans.
- 1994 – present
- Sugar Hill
About Rapper’s Delight
|Record type||Single (from the album Sugarhill Gang)|
|Recorded||2 August, 1979|
|Released||16 September, 1979|
|Genre||Old-school hip hop
|Songwriters||The Sugarhill Gang
|Record label||Sugar Hill|
Rapper’s Delight was not the first single to include rapping, but it was the first single to include rapping that became a commercial success and reached a very wide audience. It is therefore credited for introducing hip hop music to a mainstream audience, both in the United States and abroad.
The song was recorded in a single take, after which three versions were released:
- 3 minutes and 55 seconds (single version)
- 6 minutes and 30 seconds (12″ short version)
- 14 minuster and 35 seconds (album version)
The track interpolates the funk/disco band Chic’s song Good Times, which caused Chic’s bandmembers Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edward to sue Sugar Hill Records for copyright infringement. Eventually, a settlement was reached.
Discography for The Sugarhill Gang
|1983||Rappin’ Down Town
|1984||Livin’ in the Fast Lane
|1999||Jump on It!
Peak chart positions
“Rapper’s Reprise (Jam Jam)”
“Showdown” (credited as The Furious Five meets The Sugarhill Gang)
“The Lover In You”
Rappin Down Town
“The Word Is Out”
“Be A Winner”
“Kick It Live from 9 to 5” / “The Lover In You”
Livin’ in the Fast Lane
“Livin’ in the Fast Lane”
“Troy” / “Girls”
“The Down Beat”
“Work, Work The Body”
“Rapper’s Delight (Hip Hop Remix ’89)”
|2009||“Lala Song” (credited as Bob Sinclar featuring The Sugarhill Gang)||—||—||—||—||—|