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Sugarhill Gang: still getting played, not getting paid—Film shows hip hop pioneers’ fight for music rights



By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


The 2011 documentary I Want My Name Back makes its Minnesota premiere March 14 at the Trylon Microcinema in South Minneapolis. It documents the rise and fall of the Sugarhill Gang, which is widely credited for kick-starting commercial hip hop music in 1979. “It’s a controversial documentary,” said director Roger Paradiso in a phone interview with the MSR last week. The story on how the group came together has been considered one of the most controversial stories in hip hop: The late singer Sylvia Robinson reportedly heard Henry Jackson rapping and asked him if he was interested in joining a group. Jackson then became Big Bank Hank, and teamed up with Wonder Mike (Michael Wright) and Master Gee (Guy O’Brien) and formed the Sugarhill Gang in 1979. Continue Reading →

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