29 Black Music Milestones: Sugarhill Gang Pioneers Hip-Hop
Formed in New York City in the late 70s, the Sugarhill Gang is one of the pioneering acts of hip-hop.
Their 1979 single, "Rapper's Delight," was arguably the first rap song to be played on the radio and the first hip-hop single to become a Top 40 chart hit, reaching No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 4 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Their self-titled debut album, originally released in 1980, reached No. 32 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and is one of the first full-length releases in hip-hop history.
The Sugarhill Gang never topped a Billboard chart or enjoyed the same acclaim that "Rapper's Delight" brought, but they did have a few other respectable hits like "Apache," "Eighth Wonder," "Rapper's Reprise" and "Showdown."
Over twenty years later, The Sugarhill Gang is not only an important piece of music history for its chart and sale success, it is still one of the biggest party hip-hop anthems to date thanks to lyrics like "throw your hands up in the air and party hardy like you just don't care."
Video: Sugarhill Gang, "Rapper's Delight"