Pioneers is the first thing that comes to mind when I heard The Sugar Hill Gang. The band was not the first to discover or create but they were certainly a group that made a huge impact on the hip-hop community. Certain hits like Apache, most commonly known as jump on it, and Rapper’s Delight were songs that still have that timeless tunes that will always be remembered as the classics of hip-hop, however during the time of 1979 I’m sure no one of the group knew their success would be heard through time. The Sugar Hill Gang consisted of a total of seven members, Big Bank Hank, Jackson, and Joey Robinson Jr., (these being past members due to death, or other circumstances in the band) along with Wonder Mike, Wright, Master Gee, and last but not least HenDogg. The formation of the gang was made possible by a woman named Sylvia Robinson who was not only producer but founder of Sugar Hill Records with her husband Joe Robinson. The first three men of the group were Wonder Mike, Big Bank Hank, and Master Gee, these men were recruited by Sylvia but it was later in their career that crossover singles and albums brought to light even new members of the group. After 2005 Big Mike and HenDogg left the bad due to multiple battles of legal cases due to sampling of other songs or practically using the same beat. Pretty recently of 2014 Big Hank lost his battle with cancer and had passed away November 11. As for the groups One hit Wonder, Rappers Delight, that was their intro into the hip-hop community. This song made waves for the community and was labeled as the stigma for the hip-hop group and industry. This was the first rap single to hit top 40 in the billboard hot 100 in 1979. This was the quo for the introduction of rap to families and audiences across America. As the song continued to pick up speed NPR classified it as one of the best 20th centuries musical introduced to the people. It was even regarded as historically important to the National Recording Registry as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically pleasing”. Something as great of this song should have taken time you’d think, however the song was recorded in one single take and sent all over the industry. A huge feat at the time in the recording business, no less than a billboard one hundred at that too. Even through the songs ups, it is almost certain with action there is a opposite reaction, and as for the band it always seemed to be copyright claims or issues regarding recordings and sampling. The song Rapper’s Delight was hit with a huge copyright claim by Chic for their song good times. This left members of the group uneasy and ultimate leading to their departure of the gang. This was a huge eye opener for me. As a man that likes to enjoy and listen to hip-hop and rap this project made me realize the impact this gang had through the ages of time and popularity amongst the audience of music and the average person. An amazing feat by a group of men that stood in front of a microphone and made a song first of its kind to hit the ears of people across the globe.Portion 2 : Grandmaster FlashBy: Samantha Perez Joseph Saddler, better known as Grandmaster Flash or also known as DJ Grandmaster Flash is best known for mastering many different DJ techniques as wells as being a Hip-Hop artist. Joseph Saddler was born in Barbados in 1958 and later moved to the South Bronx and grew up in a group foster home in New York. Although having a different childhood than the norm it ultimately helped direct him towards his career and kept him driven. Joseph’s earlier life shows how is love for music is apparent throughout.His first chance at DJ was at a school dance, playing Bobby Byrd’s “I Know You Got Soul” in front of a large diverse crowd. Fast forwarding to 1977 in South Bronx continued to DJ to make ends meets in order to support his first child. He spinned records and played music at parties, parks, and school gyms to provide income. Joseph began experimenting with mixing and eventually discovered turntable techniques such as cutting, scratching and phasing. He was very determined and focused on mastering all these techniques and not letting anything get in the way of that. With practice and exploring his talent he introduced changing between records without skipping a beat which was a first in the industry. Although being a great dj his age held him back a bit he wasn’t able to perform in front audiences as much as he would have liked to. Due to Joseph being a minor he wasn’t given access to many venues like local disco clubs or clubs in general. Flash’s first collaboration was with rapper Kurtis Blow, who actually was the very first rapper to be signed to a major label. Although Grandmaster Flash’s work with artist Melle Mel, Cowboy, The Kid Creole, Scorpio, and Rahiem, made up “The Furious Five” is what ultimately launched his career in music. This new group created a whole new approach to the rap game and industry. The collaboration of a DJ and rapping MC’s was created by “The Furious Five”. In 1979 their very first record dropped titled “Superrappin”. Later the group signed to Sugar Hill label. Once under the label the 5 created the single “Freedom” which was over eight minutes long and made the R charts. Within three years (1980-1983) the group had ten records in the charts. Some of their popular songs included, “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on The Wheels of Steel”, and “The Message”, which has been said to be one of the first rap songs to document the struggles of inner city life. The Message contains the following lyrics, “you wind up dropping outta high school now you’re unemployed, all null and void walking ’round like you’re Pretty Boy Floyd turned stick-up kid, but look what you done did”. The group together had a lot of success and fame. Flash did not see djing as a career and providing a substantial income he always saw it as fun and easy money, he never imagined music could take him as far as it did so accomplishing all this was surreal to him. Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five were later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 becoming the first rap group to do so and being a huge accomplishment in the industry. Although being a highly appreciated dj and artist and creating a lot of success for himself he did suffer from addiction. The split of the furious five made him hit rock bottom and made him go broke. His love for cocaine proved more important than his love djing. After going into a coma from the result of his addiction he decided to make a change and make his music a priority again. Flash’s next big break came in 2016 associate producing “The Get Down” which is based on his teenage life and the rise of hip hop and djing in the 70’s.Grandmaster Flash created many firsts in the music industry. He was the first to mix two records without losing beat, first to incorporate drum loops during his performances and first to make a record full of samples and his famous quick-mix theory. Flash’s djing was technical and hard but he did it so effortlessly and to the ears beautifully.Portion 3: The Fat BoysBy: Victor Jose Perez Like my colleague Samantha Perez said, the power of a group in the rap industry could not be underestimated. This mysterious power that groups brought to rapping helped shape The Fat Boys career. They were one of the first successful rap groups, and from 1983-1990 they had a very fruitful career. Winning a talent competition in 1983, the three musicians- Mark Morales, Damon Wimbley, and Darren Robinson- went on to record songs that were made for wholesome fun. They had an almost decade long career, however the taste of their audience changed, and they could no longer entertain as well as they used to. The importance of The Fat Boys is often overlooked, yet they helped pioneer beat boxing, collectives in rap, and also novelty acts in Hip Hop. The success of the group could be attributed to the fact that they were a group with great chemistry that the audience really picked up on. Perhaps it was Darren Robinson’s remarkable ability to recreate songs that DJ’s would normally make on machines through his vocal cords. They called Robinson “Buff the Human Beat Box”, and for good reason. With Robinson able to produce such creative sounds, the need for a permanent DJ was lost, which helped The Fat Boys as they could work freely amongst themselves. Furthermore, the success of the group could be attributed to them being a novelty group. They weren’t called The Fat Boys for just any reason: the three of them were overweight. They used it to great effect, and made many songs that made fun of their weight. The biggest proof of this, is that their bestselling collection was labelled “Crushin'” and featured the three of them crushing a car on the cover. Their success could be attributed to all three, however just as fast as they came up, they came down as fast. At the end of the decade, The Fat Boys were finding difficulty keeping audiences entertained. While many famous artists have gimmicks that introduces some feel of novelty into their music, The Fat Boys could only go so far with speaking about how overweight they were. After failed attempts at switching genres, the group decided to disband and end their collective as the Fat Boys. Just because they had a relatively short career does not mean they had any small significance in the rap industry. They were at the front of the game at their time, and were so called “ambassadors of rap” as they even collaborated with The Beach Boys. Their crossover did not have as much appeal as Run D.M. C’s crossover with Aerosmith, and it was the beginning of the end for them. They had dug themselves in too deep with their novelty act, and especially at a time when hip hop was going to begin shifting into speaking about issues and the hardships the artists and their communities faced, it was almost impossible to keep it up. The Fat Boys taught and inspired many future artists, and helped shaped Hip Hop’s early image. Portion 6: Big Daddy KaneBy Bryan Quijano Upon looking up Big Daddy Kane, I had absolutely zero idea about who he was. Despite that, after listening to his albums twice to get some references for this essay, I can say without a doubt that I am glad I got him as my artist. Like I mentioned at the start, I had never heard of Big Daddy Kane. Granted, hip hop wasn’t really my thing, but one would think that a name like ‘Big Daddy Kane’, a man who inspired some of the considered greatest rap artists of our time, would stick out like a sore thumb. Let’s start from the beginning. Antonio Hardy, recognized for his stage name of ‘Big Daddy Kane’, was born, and thereafter raised, on September 10th, 1968 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York City, New York, near Brooklyn alongside his brother who goes by ‘Little Daddy Shane’. At only sixteen years old, ‘Big Daddy Kane’ assisted another artist, known as ‘Biz Markie’, in making several of Biz Markie’s best known works in hip-hop. By the age of eighteen, Antonio Hardy had joined a group named ‘Juice Crew’, which was from Queens, New York, and thus starting what would become of a known legend in the hip-hop community. If ‘Big Daddy Kane’ is known for anything, it would be for his incredible amounts of skill with being able to rhyme over fast beats. So much so, that he is considered as one of the first hip-hop artists in doing just that. In result of his talent, ‘Big Daddy Kane’ rose to stardom fairly quickly, with winning a Grammy only five years after he started as an artist. Some artists today still don’t have a Grammy and they have been working towards one for decades. To further prove my point, RollingStone considers his song, “Ain’t No Half-Steppin” from the ‘Long Live the Kane’ album, released in 1988, to be the 25th greatest hip-hop song of all time. In additional to that, his name may have been mentioned when talk regarding the greatest artists in the golden age of hip-hop would surface. However, that’s for the listeners to decide. He was actually criticized in the beginning. Those in the R&B scene and those in the hip-hop scene did not take lightly to him combining both genres to make music, but that didn’t stop him from leaving a mark in both scenes.’Big Daddy Kane’ wasn’t just a hip-hop artist. In fact, he has acted before and even modeled! Despite all those accomplishments, he has been something that others consider worth more than shiny awards and/or money, and that is being a mentor to further the future of hip-hop. If it wasn’t for ‘Big Daddy Kane’, ‘Jay-Z’ would never have been what he is today. Despite ‘Jay-Z’ getting turned down by several record companies, according to ‘Big Daddy Kane’ in an interview he did with Fuse back in 2013, Kane supported ‘Jay-Z’ until he made it. In addition to mentoring ‘Jay-Z’, who is widely successful, recently receiving eight Grammy nominations, ‘Big Daddy Kane’ has influenced other artists such as ‘Kendrick Lamar’, ‘Wiz Khalifa’, ‘Eminem’, and even the late great Biggie Smalls, better known as ‘The Notorious B.I.G.’.In conclusion, it is safe to say that Antonio Hardy, or ‘Big Daddy Kane’, has left quite the impression in the hip-hop community and even music as a whole. Without his willingness to go outside the norm to express himself, music, especially hip-hop, might not have been what it is today. Portion 7: Ice CubeBy: Alejandro Ramirez Jr.Ice Cube the man that starred in the famous hit movies of 22 Jump Street to Next Friday has had a great music career. O’Shea Jackson Sr. “Ice Cube” is an American rapper that debut in 1989 with his album “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted.” O’Shea Jackson Sr. was born on June 15, 1969, to later on join with the hip-hop group C.I.A.Ice Cubes rap had become a hit. With the record out within days, ice cubes hit gold. When Ice Cube joined the rap crew N.W.A with today’s society Dr. Dre, the maker of Beats had made moves to make his music legendary. The group at first had created music that Los Angeles Police Department and federal Bureau condemned it violently.Being the American rapper that had the most dangerous music group had to be a tremendous unique skill. The tone of how the African-American lived in that particular time created the need for violence. The racial inequality caused many rap artists to have a shattered community of hate towards society. The impact of new rap had a change to see things a certain way.O’Shea Jackson kept making hits with new music from the 1990’s to 1995. The release of “Death Certificate” to “Lethal Injection” had sparked a new career. When O’Shea starred in “Boyz n the Hood” his Hollywood career had just hit stardom. The show did have an average show performance, but O’Shea had more great returns down the road. His popularity had started getting noticed among big film producers and wanted to hire O’Shea for their films.Fast forward to the 2000’s O’Shea’s career in Hollywood had massively increased popularity. “Friday After Next” became another great hit of comedy and humor. Keep in mind O’Shea’s music start to slowly die down. The Hollywood act started taking a toll on his music career. The Hollywood scene like always takes away what you use to do. O’Shea had to give up on the music career since the people wanted more of him. The persona of O’Shea on films had given this tone of new talent with a bad face to not mess with. People loved the attitude O’Shea gave on his performance.The age of the new generation had begun with more great movies. Society wanted more fun and action in today’s action film. O’Shea started to pick up the pace of more work which leads to the new motion picture in 2014 “Ride Along.” The higher quality movie made for a better audience to feel that their needs have been satisfied. Humor with significant stare down faces of O’Shea made for an enjoyable film in 2014. While in that year O’Shea had a much-hit movie dealing with drugs and all types of action. “22 Jump Street” is the sequel to an infamous “21 Jump Street” in 2012. O’Shea has had the best musical and film career to this day even if one has been dropped for a greater experience. Portion 8: Slick RickBy: Gisselle RamirezSlick Rick, born Ricky Martin Lloyd Walters, is a British-American Hip-Hop artist who has influenced many of today’s rappers.Walters was born on January 14, 1965 in Mitcham, United Kingdom, but his family emigrated to New York, United States in 1976. His appearance is most distinct due to an eye patch he wears as a result of an accident as an infant from broken glass going into his eye and blinding him from his right eye. He says that because of his eyepatch he became a shy boy and that he would stay home and write stories rather than going outside and playing sports. While living in the Bronx, Walters attended Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where he met Dana Dane, which they then formed the rap group The Kangol Crew. The duo performed in many talent shows and at one talent show in 1984 was where he met rapper and beatboxer Doug E. Fresh. Fresh was captivated by Walters stage presence and rap ability, he then asked Walters to join his Get Fresh Crew, which included DJs Chill Will and Barry Bee. Walters joined the crew with the stage name MC Ricky D in 1985, this act help him gain prosperity in the rap industry. While being in the Get Fresh Crew they recorded their first single “The Show,” which was a hit in both the U.S. and Europe, however, the B-side, “La Di Da Di” became a worldwide hit due to the great combination of Walters’ rap lyrics and Fresh’s beatboxing. In 1988 Walters left the Get Fresh Crew and signed to Def Jam Records where he recorded his first album, “The Great Adventures of Slick Rick.” This album was successful and reached No. 1 in Billboard’s R&B Hip-Hop chart. His growing publicity and fame became a concern to his mother and thought it best that he had a bodyguard and hired his cousin, Mark Plummer. However, in 1990, he fired his cousin for trying to take money from him, which then erupted into a violent confrontation. Plummer would attempt robbing Walters, as well as threaten to kill him and his mother. On July 3, 1990, Walters’ friend alerted him that Plummer was in the neighborhood searching him, Walters then drove by and shot multiple rounds at Plummer. Although, some shots grazed Plummer and wounded a passerby on the foot, neither we critically injured. After a car chase from police, Walters finally pleaded guilty to two accounts of attempted murder as well as other charges. Walters defended himself by saying his actions were in an act of self-defence, he then got five years of prison. While on bail, Walters produced his second album, “The Ruler’s Back” in 1991 and “Behind Bars” in 1994. Although, both albums were not as successful as the rest, they still held spots on the Billboard charts. While still being with Def Jam Records, Walters recorder his next album “The Art of Storytelling,” which was a successful comeback reaching No. 8 on the Billboard 200. This album also featured fan artists like Nas, OutKast, Raekwon, and Snoop Dogg.Slick Rick is notably one of the most influential Hip-Hop artists in the industry. His music has been sampled over 600 times making him the most sampled Hip-Hop artist in history. Modern day artists like Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, and Kanye West, to name a few, have sampled and interpolated his music. Not only was he recognized as a rapper, but he’s also been ranked No. 12 on Top 50 MCs of Our Time by About.com, as well as, No. 15 on Top 50 Lyricist of All Time by The Source.Portion 9: Geto BoysBy Mario Ramirez Jr.The Geto Boys formed in 1986 was a famous rap group in Houston. Throughout the years the group of people who made up the group has changed as well as the name. Back then the group’s name used to be formerly known as “Getto Boys”. James “Lil’ J” Smith made the group and was also the owner of a records company known as Rap-A-Lot Records.The Geto boys were also known to be one of the first groups to do “Gangsta Rap” genre. The original people of the first of group was Keith Rogers, Thelton Polk, and Oscar Ceres. They released the first single in 1986 name “Car Freak” which was limitedly distributed. As well as their outfits were flat caps and Fila tracksuits.In 1988 there was a new line of people within the group when their first album was released. These people were Keith Rogers, Jonathan Carmichael, Collins Leysath and Richard Shaw. This group wore black fedoras, black clothes and gold chains. Their first album was named “Making Trouble”. This album had heavy-metal guitar solos. Later, Keith Rogers and Jonathan Carmichael leave the group and are replaced by Willie Dennis and Brad Jordan.In 1989 this was the year the name of the group was changed to what is now known as “Geto Boys”. Which released their second album “Grip It! On That Other Level.” As well as singles with the names “Gangsta of Love,”” Size Ain’t Shit,” and “Mind of a Lunatic”. This helped put Houston on the map in the music world of rap.Later after that their next album called “The Geto Boys” was released in 1990 by Def American label. This album ended up being distributed by Giant Records instead of Geffen Records because of the album’s contents. This was because their music was controversial. The reason being was that songs like “Mind of a Lunatic,” which described necrophilia and that also some found it was violent, sexist, racist and indecent. Which caused for censorship because two teenagers were supposedly hypnotized by the song and shot another teenager. Another thing, about “Mind of a Lunatic” was that it was inspired by Superfly.Afterwards, their fourth album was released in 1991 called “We Can’t Be Stopped” which was certified platinum by the Recording Association of America. This album’s feature song was “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” which had the trio Willie Dennis, Brad Jordan, and Richard Shaw which each shared their personal experiences of paranoia, fear, and violent encounters through the microphone. This song reached the billboard pop charts.In 1998 Willie Dennis left the group and hours shortly after that Richard Shaw was shot in the eye. The group replaced Willie with rapper Big Mike. They them released a song called “Till Death Do Us Part” and Album with songs like “Murder Avenue,”” Murder After Midnight,” and “Cereal Killer” which was certified gold in 1993 and contained the same content as their third album .Later, Willie rejoined the group and replaced Big Mike and released their next album in 1996 called “The Resurrection”. This album had songs like “The World is a Ghetto” and “Still”. Eventually their seventh album was released called “Da Good, Da Bad, & Da Ugly” in 1998.After this the group members went on to do solo projects. They later reunited 2005 to release the album “The Foundation” and in 2009 for a performance. This was the history of the Geto Boys and how the group changed throughout the years.