LIVE: Sugar Hill Gang / Melle Mel @ Empire Plaza, 07/27/2022

To answer The Sugarhill Gang, Hip Hop was most definitely in the house as the trailblazing rap group performed to an Empire State Plaza crowd on Wednesday, July 27.

The evening brought back memories of Shabba Doo, Krush Groove, Beat Street — and there was no stopping.

The Sugarhill Gang holds the distinction of charting the first rap single on the Billboard Top 100 in 1979. “Rapper’s Delight” broke the top 40 and would peak at No. 36. It’s the group’s only Top 40 hit in the United States, but they paved the way for a genre that now dominates popular music today.

Melle Mel stepped out onto the stage in a gold-on-black outfit topped with a bejeweled New York Yankees cap that paid homage to his home, The Bronx. As founding members of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Melle Mel & Scorpio were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Other hits associated with the pair include “White Lines (Don’t Do It),” “Beat Street,” and Chaka Kahn’s “I Feel For You,” featuring Melle Mel’s rapping skills.

In addition to The Sugarhill Gang, the evening opened with a set by DJ TGIF, followed by a performance from Powerhouse Funk Band.

Originally Published on TheSpot 518, used with permission.

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