Monday, August 5, 2013

"8th Wonder" by The Sugarhill Gang

Song#:  0482
Date:  02/07/1981
Debut:  98
Peak:  82
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Rap

Pop Bits:  Although this group had very limited success, they were instrumental in getting rap on the pop charts and secured a place in history by having the first Top 40 rap song with 1979's "Rapper's Delight" (#36 pop, #4 R&B). Producer Sylvia Robinson, who had hits as part of Mikey & Sylvia ("Love Is Strange," #11, 1957) and as a solo act ("Pillow Talk," #3, 1973), put together this group for her Sugar Hill label and in doing so became one of the most influential figures in rap history. The group recorded a follow-up album and this first single was issued. Although it spent several weeks on the chart, it didn't get too far out of the basement and reached #15 on the R&B chart. However, the "8th Wonder" LP became their first and only to hit the pop album chart hitting #50.

ReduxReview:   Although not as fun as "Rapper's Delight," this is still pretty good. Now, after so many years of rap and the different styles, this seems so tame. It just comes off like guys having fun and slappin' their skills over some beats and samples. Kids these days would probably consider this kind of lame, but they should take note of rap's beginnings and recognize that the early tunes were really great and fun.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Both the record company and the group were named for the Sugar Hill area of Harlem in New York City. The area was known as affluent neighborhood where wealthy African Americans took residence. In the early-to-mid 1900's, it was also known as an artistic hub where such famous performers like Duke Ellington lived.


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