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Not ready with Thanksgiving plans? Sugarhill Gang says 'Jump on it! Jump on it!'



Thanksgiving is not only the time when we reflect on our blessings, but remember the heritage of our of country's forefathers and hearken back to the first Thanksgiving between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. Sometimes our recollections about the Indians can be foggy, but wonderfully entertaining like the video for the Sugarhill Gang and their cover of Apache.

The Sugarhill Gang are considered by many to be forefathers themselves - of rap music that is. Their only Top 40 hit, Rapper's Delight, is in the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame and in NPR's Top 100 songs as its claim to history is being the first rap record to hit the Top 40 when it peaked at No. 36 at the beginning of 1980. It has also aged well being one of the main scene-stealing scenes in The Wedding Singer.

Two years later in 1982, the Sugarhill Gang hit the pop charts for the last time with Apache that only made it to No. 53 on the charts. Apache originally was an instrumental performed by a London band called the Shadows. One year later Denmark jazz guitarist Jorgen Ingmann took his version of Apache all the way to No. 2 on the U.S. charts in 1961. In 1982, the Sugarhill Gang remade/sampled Apache and added the rap lyrics along with the fun chorus of "jump on it" not to mention dropping names like Tonto,  Kemosabe (Lone Ranger), Custer and Apache.   In the video, maybe the rappers (Big Bank Hank, Master G and Wonder Mike - in verse order) may seem a little politically incorrect with their war headdresses and tomahawks, but I think we can agree it's all for laughs for the Sugarhill Gang.

But wait, there have been more remakes of Apache other than the Sugarhill Gang version. In 1996, Sir Mix-A-Lot (Baby Got Back) recorded his version of Apache that sampled the Sugarhill Gang version and was retitled as Jump On It. Whichever version they play, it is common play at wedding dances or all summer long at theme parks like Six Flags and witness teenagers dance in groups perhaps inspired by the Apache  moves of young Will Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

 But lest we forget about a version of Apache that did not chart but still has entertained legions of Youtube viewers. In 1977, Tommy Seabach recorded his instrumental version and filmed a cheesy video for Apache that was one of the main inspirations for the Lost and Found series when I started delving into obscure/forgotten music videos on Youtube many years ago.  As Ferris would say, it is so choice if you want to watch the GOAT music video.

 Although Sugarhill Gang is still together they lost Big Bank Hank to cancer in 2014.


[Last modified: Monday, November 23, 2015 9:59am]


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