A member of the pioneering rap group Sugarhill Gang, Big Bank Hank, died today. He was 57.
Big Bank Hank, one-third of rap group The Sugarhill Gang, laid the groundwork for the explosion of the hip hop genre into American society.
Born Henry Jackson, Big Bank Hank founded The Sugarhill Gang in the ’70s with Wonder Mike and Master Gee. He had been suffering from cancer recently and succumbed to complications associated with the malicious medical malady.
In 1979, the trio released “Rappers Delight,” a track that helped popularize rap among urbanites and then eventually bleed into mainstream society.
What makes the “Rapper’s Delight” so special is that the timeless cut, which was 15 minutes long, was recorded in just 20 minutes.
In 1980, it peaked at No. 36 on Billboard’s pop chart.
Big Bank Hank claimed he was retiring from music in 1984 when The Sugarhill Gang broke up, but he ended up reuniting with the rest of the group to record Jump On It!, a kids’ album, in 1999.
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