The Sugar Hill Gang's Big Bank Hank dies at age 57

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    We are sad to inform SoulTrackers that one of the original rap stars, Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson of the legendary Sugar Hill Gang, has died at age 57 after a long battle with cancer. The Bronx born rapper first made his mark locally working with the group the Cold Crush Brothers before being recruited by Sugar Hill Records espresario Sylvia Robinson to join in the rap group she was forming to take advantage of the nascent music form. Jackson was joined in the group by Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright and Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien.

    We are sad to inform SoulTrackers that one of the original rap stars, Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson of the legendary Sugar Hill Gang, has died at age 57 after a long battle with cancer. The Bronx born rapper first made his mark locally working with the group the Cold Crush Brothers before being recruited by Sugar Hill Records espresario Sylvia Robinson to join in the rap group she was forming to take advantage of the nascent music form. Jackson was joined in the group by Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright and Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien.

    The group's single "Rapper's Delight" became one of the first across-the-board rap hits, and the album shot all the way into the Billboard Top 5. Based on the hook from Chic's "Good Times," it introduced the period of fun, danceable rap, and its "Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn" refrain became a signature line in the clubs of the time. The Sugar Hill Gang never again achieved those heights, hitting the lower end of the charts with "8th Wonder" and "Apache" before hanging it up in the late 80s. The trio, reunited from time to time and remains to this day one of the most popular rap acts of all time.

    Big Bank Hank was an important part of the early history of rap music, and he will be missed.

     

     
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