Rock/Soul/Prog, Spring 2008

Sugarhill Gang (mock article)

April 28th, 2008 by · No Comments

November 7, 1979

“I said a hip hop the hippie the hippie, to the hip hip hop, a you dont stop, the rock it to the bang bang boogie, say up jumped the boogie, to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat”.

 These opening lines to the Sugar Hill Gang’s smash hit Rapper’s Delight blared out at me from the back of the Miami Vice this past Friday. The controlled yet rapidly paced sound bumped out of the vibrating speakers as Wonder Mike, Master Gee, and Big Bang Hank, melodically took their turns and spit their rhymes to the gyrating crowd in front of them.  

Now I will admit that last night marked my first rap concert ever, and to say the least I was blown away. I’m used to roaring guitar riffs and melismatic soul, but this new beat-based music completely took me by surprise.

Last month the self-titled album The Sugar Hill Gang was released and marked the advent of a completely new genre of music called hip hop. This music style involves isolating backbeats from distinct percussion breaks and overlapping it with a vocal style called rap. The purpose of the music was to make you want to dance, and boy did it do its job. The club was filled with bodies bopping to the beat, toes tapping, and crowds clapping.

Some of the first hits of the that were played included “Sugarhill Groove”, “Passion Play”, and “Here I Am”, but none of these got the crowd as pumped as when the notorious:

 Bum clapBum clap

A BUMABUM bum bum bum BABUM

Baba bum  

boomed through the stereo indicating the advent of Rapper’s Delight. This song highlighted each of the MC’s talent as they individually showcased their rapping skill. Wonder Mike started the song off right with a fast-paced muddle of words that simply flowed and cascaded one over top of the other. Next came Big Bang Hank wooing all of the ladies with his slightly gravelly voice and charismatic sway and snap. Lastly Master Gee coolly took the mike and resonantly spit out his rapid wordplay without breaking a sweat. Not once did any of these cardigan-sporting rhymers seem out of breath as they gyrated to the music and speedily knocked the crowd out of their seats 

Though not as guttural as rock’n’roll or as melodic as soul, this new form of music definitely grabs you by the waist and the ears. It magnetizes bodies until they’re up and dancing, and it definitely is enjoyable to listen to as well. The Sugar Hill Gang has introduced this beat centered form of music and I have a feeling that it will be here to stay a long while. Be prepared for hip hop fever!

Original post by karl

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