Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2
Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.
There are a handful of moments that have changed the course of popular music: The Beatles on 'Ed Sullivan'; Bob Dylan goes electric; Starland Vocal Band releases 'Afternoon Delight' (what? You weren't a fan?). Anyway, one of the biggest landmark moments in music history can be traced back to 1979: Three kids from New Jersey put out the first hip hop song to ever become a hit; a song that changed everything, and can still get the party started. 'Rapper's Delight,' by The Sugarhill Gang. Eleven verses, and over 300 rhymes, all by three trailblazing Emcees: Wonder Mike, Master Gee, and Big Bank Hank.
At its peak, Rapper's Delight was selling more than 50,000 copies per day. It inspired countless artists, and helped define a whole new genre of music. Unfortunately, that's where the feel-good story goes bad.
For the past 20 years, two of the group's original members - Wonder Mike and Master Gee - have been at war with their former record label. It started with creative differences, and lost royalties, but it ended with a battle over the group's very name. And, it got personal - very personal. The Robinson family, who discovered and signed the group, started another Sugarhill Gang after the original group broke up. Imagine how it feels to lose your legacy, your music, even, your very identity, while somebody else is on tour, performing as you?
Now, Mike and Master Gee are speaking out in a new documentary called, "I Want My Name Back". It's the story of two musical pioneers, fighting for the recognition they deserve.