Today in Hip Hop History: Big Bank Hank’s Passing

Big bank hank death cancer
Big Bank Hank via Huffington Post

Today in Hip Hop History: November 11, 2014

Big Bank Hank, one-third of the classic hip hop group Sugarhill Gang, passed away from cancer exactly one year ago today. Big Bank Hank is best known for his work with the group; they had (allegedly) the first recorded hip hop song in history with “Rapper’s Delight.” His rhymes in the song were plagiarized from Grandmaster Caz‘s rhymes.

Despite this, Big Bank Hank was the music manager for Grandmaster Caz and his group The Mighty Force MC’s, in addition to The Cold Crush Brothers. He got his breakthrough in the music industry after auditioning after his job at a pizza parlor. The rest is history.

Big Bank Hank never garnered much attention in any solo endeavors, but the rapper will always be known for bringing hip hop music to a larger audience. Before Sugarhill Gang, hip hop was strictly street or party music, with no official recordings. For that, we thank you Big Bank Hank and RIP.

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