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The Sugarhill Gang - Sugarhill Gang

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Genre: R&B & Soul - Funk / Artist: Sugarhill Gang / Import / Vinyl released 2005-04-11 at Earmark

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      29.07.2008 13:59
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      Sugarhill Gang's debut album

      Released in 1980, "Sugarhill Gang" is the debut album from the pioneering Hip Hop group The Sugarhill Gang. It came after they introduced the sound of Hip Hop back in 1979 with their #4 single "Rapper's Delight" (the first in this style to go mainstream, but second if you include The Fatback Band's "King Tim III" from the same year). The group however were not the inventors of Hip Hop, and I don't really wish to go into all that, but it's important to note that the foundations of it are in New York, wheeras thse are New Jersey natives.

      1. "Here I Am"

      You have to compare this to "Bad News" and "Passion Play" (from later on) as they go for another song, rather than a rap, and here it is a lot more tollerbale than what you hear before, which is reassuring as you wouldn't like it to spoil the whole of the album. However it still isn't up to the standard of other R&B singers from this period.

      **Three Stars**

      2. "Rapper's Reprise"

      This is album features classic material from the people who took Hip Hop to the mainstream, however I wouldn't really recommend this specific product. I think that it is safer to go out and buy a 'Greatest Hits' by them rather than this one becase this was still in the experimental days of the genre, so there are a couple of songs whcih bring down the mood a little. However, if you would like to hear what progression they made over their career, then feel free to purchase this.

      **Three Stars**

      3. "Bad News, Don't Bother Me"

      When "Rapper's Delight" is all that you know the Suarhill Gang for, you will be surprised to hear a soul track like this in the album. I say soul, but it's more like a half-hearted attempt of a Funk group to sing in this style, so it's just them on a slower rhythm. It surprised me that they didn't go with a rap for the subject like this, but now looking back, party raps were the only option if you were going to opt for that style. This is definately not something I recommend you listen to.

      **One Star**

      4. "Sugarhill Groove"

      Here is the best tune from the album to follow on from the hype which "Rapper's Delight" created, and it is quality all the way through. You have to have listened to their first recording and fully appreciated it's significance before listning to this as it's so excitng to hear th group rapping together (for nearly ten full minutes) on a funky rhymth. Luckily it wasn't a rip, like what a later track, "Rapper's Reprise" is, and it sounds here to be a great development since the debut.

      **Five Stars**

      5. "Passion Play"

      To display that the group still weren't anticipating the popularity of rap, this is a funk song from the group, and as a Funk recording, it's OK, but not really up their with anything which you would expect to here from the greatest of the late seventies and eighties. Most of it is instrumental though and so you don't have to listen to that many of the painful vocals.

      **Two Stars**

      6. "Rapper's Delight"

      There's just so much to say about this one that it's going to be hard to condense it down. The Sugarhill Gang come with an adapation of a sample of Chic's "Good Times" as a basis, and this is important in how it managed to get as successful as it is. As they used such a track which took on a track which united the upper-class with Disco and lower-classes with Funk, and so by using it it allowed everyone to enjoyu the party music together.

      From this beat, you have a fourteen minute-long rap from Wonder Mic, Master Gee and Big Bank Hank, and they just cannot be stopped with it. It's so exciteing, and must have been so much more enteratining at the time for those who hadn't heard rap befre as they simply spoke in a non-tonal form to the funky beat, and as they go on for so long, their enjoyment is tranferred through this.

      Although the raps are fun, there has been some controversy over them as some of the lines were written by others, such as Grandmaster Caz (of Cold Crush), whose name Hank spells out when he claims to be talking about himself. At times later on, apart from the sections which are heard in the cut-down radio versionn are a bit weird, but you still have fun throughout as you bounce to the "Good Times" rhythm. It is a classic for music as a whole, without it having such a strong backing of "Good Times" or something simialr to have an effect upon all music-lovers, Hip Hop wouldn't be as popular as it is today, and may not have even got the chance to take-off as it did.

      **Five Stars**

      This is album features classic material from the people who took Hip Hop to the mainstream, however I wouldn't really recommend this specific product. I think that it is safer to go out and buy a 'Greatest Hits' by them rather than this one becase this was still in the experimental days of the genre, so there are a couple of songs whcih bring down the mood a little. However, if you would like to hear what progression they made over their career, then feel free to purchase this.

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Rapper's Delight
      2 Bad News Don't Bother Me
      3 Sugarhill Groove
      4 Passion Play
      5 Here I Am
      6 Rapper's Reprise