Hip-hop pioneers The Sugarhill Gang were less than delighted when their former label Sugar Hill Records commandeered their group name.
Their ongoing dispute with the company became the subject of a documentary, which chronicled the origins of the group and their impact on hip-hop history. The founding group members — Big Bank Hank, Wonder Mike and Mister Gee — and several rearranged acts would perform under the name during later years. The trio’s meteoric rise through the industry was largely due to the success of their track “Rapper’s Delight,” the first hip-hop record to reach platinum status and gross close to $10 million in sales. Despite the iconic accomplishment, the gang fell from grace after their trusted label copyrighted The Sugarhill name along with their rap monikers.
In 2011, the film, directed by Roger Paradisco, brought to light the legal dispute the group had undergone, vying to receive credit for their contributions to the culture. With guest appearances from Naughty by Nature, Grandmaster Caz and Melle Mell from the Furious Five, the 85-minute production highlights the rise and fall and rise again of the original members of The Sugarhill Gang. The documentary will be available on DVD beginning June 11.