The Sugarhill Gang

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

Name Stage name
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.


  • 1979-1985
  • 1994 – present


  • Sugar Hill

About Rapper’s Delight

Record type Single (from the album Sugarhill Gang)
Format 12″
Recorded 2 August, 1979
Released 16 September, 1979
Genre Old-school hip hop



Songwriters The Sugarhill Gang

Sylvia Robinsson

Grandmaster Caz

Nile Rodgers

Bernard Edwards

Producer Sylvia Robinson
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

Studio albums

Year Titel
1980 Sugarhill Gang


  • Released: February 7, 1980
  • Label: Sugar Hill
  • US. R&B position: 4
1981 8th Wonder

  • Released: Late 1981
  • Label: Sugar Hill
  • U.S. Top 200 position: 50
  • U.S. R&B position: 15
1983 Rappin’ Down Town


  • Released: 1983
  • Label: Sugar Hill
1984 Livin’ in the Fast Lane


  • Label: Sugar Hill
1999 Jump on It!


  • Released: April 16, 1999
  • Label: Rhino Entertainment


Year Single

Peak chart positions

U.S. U.S. R&B U.S.

Club Play


“Rapper’s Delight”

36 4 14 18 3

Sugarhill Gang


“Rapper’s Reprise (Jam Jam)”

“8th Wonder”

82 15 38

8th Wonder



53 13 51

“Showdown” (credited as The Furious Five meets The Sugarhill Gang)


“The Lover In You”

55 54

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)”

34 58
2009 “Lala Song” (credited as Bob Sinclar featuring The Sugarhill Gang)