Following their induction into the Camden Music Walk of Fame, the gang did a set of live UK performances. Exploding onto the stage to launch into their 1980 third single ‘8th wonder’, they afterwards ensured the audience that they knew they were the most commercially successful rap group on the entire planet that predated all rappers such as Jay-Z, Puff Daddy and Fifty Cent with their own Big Bank Hank, Wonder Mike and Master Gee. Dressed up in bling with their own unique styles, the gang headed by Master Gee performed 2009 single by French producer Bob Sinclar, ‘Lala Song’, which sampled their 1979 hit single, ’Rapper’s Delight’.

The group then made way for hip hop collaborators Grandmaster Melle Mel and Scorpio (Furious 5), who included a sample of Tom Tom Club’s ‘Genius of Love’; the 1981 single by Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, produced during the breakup of their band Talking Heads. The pair danced on stage, Scorpio stylishly pacing the stage carrying a red man bag with Mel wearing a jewelled ‘White Lines’ baseball cap and flexing his body-built physique, both freezing into poses at the end of each track. They sampled ‘I Feel For You’ by fellow grammy inductee Chaka Khan and sang Mel’s UK hit single, ‘White Lines’, with Master Gee saying Mel had a lot to do with building hip-hop culture in the South Bronx area of New York City.

The Sugarhill Gang then returned back on stage to perform other dance hits such as their disco-funk cover of ‘Apache’, with their dance moves famously inspired by ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-air’. They finished the show on their 1979 hit single ‘Rapper’s Delight’, with all musicians on stage doing a line dance to the song and rapping out its reverberating lyrics.

10/09/23: The Sugarhill Gang @ Woolwich Works, Woolwich.

Photos © Peter McDonnell Photography.

© Ayisha Khan.