R.I.P. Big Bank Hank — A Lucky Man

End of the Sugarhill Gang. Of course Big Bank Hank became part of the commercial/cultural breakout of rap by sheer fluke, but he’s hardly the only unlikely longshot in the history of popular entertainment. The swiping from Grandmaster Caz is sad business. But I’ve heard the Tuff City sides and while Caz invented the language, Big Bank added the raw fun. “Rapper’s Delight” was a spontaneous hit with most of the music nuts at the Boston Phoenix in 1979. Kit Rachlis nailed the experience in his pioneering little write-up that laid out how the single seemed like an absolutely one-off novelty at first hearing and you kept waiting for it to wear out. But it didn’t. Kept getting stronger. The beginning of what I still consider the last bottom-to-top upheaval in pop music.

Big Bank

They weren’t this happy very long …

Obit at Rolling Stone.

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