The Sugarhill Gang to "delight" Fine Line tonight

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Like rhyme-busting Amish, the Sugarhill Gang are from an older, simpler time; rappers weren't superstars, Autotune hadn't been invented, and the gangsta genre was just a diamond-encrusted gleam in Ice-T's eye. Likewise, charisma wasn't something meticulously crafted by a PR firm, it came straight off the stage in a torrent of wordplay and wit. It was a time when rocking a party was the ultimate goal, and the only materials you needed to do it were a couple of record players, a microphone, and some really loud speakers. The Sugarhill Gang aren't simply members of the Old School, they helped build it, with their seminal single "Rapper's Delight" rising to prominence as one of the biggest cornerstones on the campus.

Really, it's almost impossible to talk about The Sugarhill Gang without mentioning "Rapper's Delight," which remains their biggest hit. Thieving the instrumental break from Chic's "Good Times," it was the first rap single to ever breach the Top 40, and since that time has inspired countless other rappers, started controversies and lawsuits about sampling, and been prominently featured at more than a few receptions and school dances--which isn't too bad for a song that was supposed to be a record label's cash-in on (what they saw as) a novelty genre. Speaking of novelty, there's also a good chance that you heard it as part of The Wedding Singer's "Rapping Granny" bit. But, hey, what other rap songs could you get a little old lady to recite?

Tonight, a re-formed Sugarhill Gang take the stage at the Fine Line for a tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of their most-recognized song.  Take a trip to the old school, and you might just learn something.

The Sugar Hill Gang perform at the Fine Line Music Cafe tonight with the New Congress. $12/$15 at the door. 10 p.m.

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