Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Sugarhill Gang - Rappin' Down Town

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Rappin’ Down Town from the Sugarhill Gang - Wonder Mike (Michael Wright), Big Bank Hank (Henry Jackson) and Master Gee (Guy O‘Brien). This 1983 album was the third one from the New York City based rap group, following up 8th Wonder from the previous year (click here for that review).

Side one begins with “The Lover In You”; this nearly seven minute track features a smooth R&B groove as its base foundation. It was released as a 12” inch single very late in 1982.

“The Word Is Out” kicks it up a notch then with a festive party track. It too was a 12” inch single, released in 1983.

Closing out the side is the nearly seven-minute long “Winner Is”.

Side two kicks off with the single “Kick It Live From 9 to 5”. This festive jam is celebrates a party that goes all night and into the morning hours. The last couple minutes features some wicked scratching.

Things get a bit cosmic with “Space Race”, an epic, nearly eight-minute long groove that takes the gang to the stars. It reminds me of another rap act named Newcleus who had a song in 1986 called “Space Is the Place”. Clearly this one was the pre-cursor of the two - by quite a few years.

The closing track "Girls" pays a focused tribute to the fairer of the sexes.

All three tracks from side two would reappear on the Sugarhill Gang's 1984 album Livin' in the Fast Lane. Also, four of the six tracks collected on this album, particularly the singles, can be found on The Essentials: The Sugarhill Gang.

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