This could actually be the first case of swagger jacking in hip-hop history. Robert Paradiso recently directed a documentary on how The Sugar Hill Gang lost a large amount of money to impostor versions of the group. As it turns out, Master Gee and Wonder Mike, known for the very old-school hits “Rapper’s Delight” and “Apache,” did not own the rights to group’s name. Their record label, Sugar Hill Records, trademarked the name and sent random guys posing as Tthe Sugar Hill Gang on the road. Paradiso explains, “They’re really big in Europe and as I discovered there’s reasons for that. There’s laws now currently in the States where you can’t present a band without original members and if you do, you have to let the audience know. That’s a rather recent thing here. It was more traditional for that to happen in Europe.” According to the filmmaker, the original group now owns the rights to “Rapper’s Delight” and “Apache,” although they can only collect the profits made within the last 7 years and beyond due to a statute of limitations. Check out the trailer for the movie below; it’s kind of funny.
Even though he doesn’t have a smash hit, J. Cole killed the game this week with the release of debut, Cole World: The Sideline Story, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. Although the album has been met with mixed reviews, it didn’t seem to phase consumers as the album moved nearly 218,000 units this week. Regardless, Sam is still going to hate. It was a big week for indie hip-hop releases as Phonte, Evidence, and 9th Wonder all moved several thousand units of their respective albums. I had the chance to listen to “Cats & Dogs,” which is pretty hot, but I’ve been hearing nothing but rave reviews for Phonte’s “Charity Starts At Home.” Casey Veggies’ stock appears to be continually rising as the commercial re-release of his free mixtape moved 2,223 copies digitally in its first 2 weeks on the charts. We’ll have to wait until next week to see what Styles P and Exile do next week.
J. Cole “Cole World: The Sideline Story” – 217,280 (43% digital) [read review]
Phonte “Charity Starts At Home” – 7,796 (56% digital) [read review]
Evidence “Cats & Dogs” – 7,725 (35% digital) [read review]
9th Wonder “The Wonder Years” – 6,460 (51% digital)
Casey Veggies “Asleep In Class [Deluxe Edition]” - 2,223 (100% digital) *Two Week Total* [read review]
Tabi Bonney “The Summer Years” - 262 (100% digital)