Rappers Sugar Hill Gang, Jin, Clipse and Roscoe P. Coldchain came to UM as part of the Lyricist Lounge Tour. Students said the artists, fresh off the European part of their tour and tired from a transatlantic journey, still managed to stir up the crowd and give a memorable performance.
“I feel like I’m part of history, watching Sugar Hill Gang perform,” Dorothy Jackson, junior, said.
The show, organized by Hurricane Productions, opened with a rap-off contest between students that showcased their creativity, followed by a performance by Jin, whom students described as having a “natural charisma and out-of-this-world lyrics.”
Jin performed a couple songs and then made way for the Sugar Hill Gang. Although the group did not play many of their own songs, they did perform their international hit single, “Rapper’s Delight.”
During the performance, a group of UM girls were invited to go onstage and dance with them.
Among them was a girl who is being recruited to play for the women’s basketball team.
“It’s really great that we got a recruit,” Tamara James, sophomore, said. “It’s really special for her.”
In an interview with Sugar Hill Gang prior to the show, lead singer “Wonder Mike,” as he is called by his fans, said that he was inspired to become famous when he saw the Beatles movie A Hard Day’s Night.
“As I watched that group of four British boys being chased by frenzied fans, I told myself, ‘That’s what I want to do,'” Wonder Mike said.
His dream came true years later after the release of “Rapper’s Delight.”
Wonder Mike said that he saw the rap scene evolve from being fun and carefree to a more serious and violent context.
“It’s always evolving. It’s human nature to push it to the next level, but that’s not me,” Wonder Mike said.
He said that he likes to listen to different types of music, ranging from rock to the eclectic piano sounds of Yanni.
The Sugar Hill Gang still write their own songs, and when asked where they derive their influences, Wonder Mike responded.
“Creativity is half inspiration and half what you do with it,” he said. “It’s not from whom you derive your music from, but what you do with it.”
“True, creativity comes from within; nobody can give it to you,” Jin said. “You know, I’ve been rapping since the sixth grade, never took it seriously until I was 17.”
For more information or a listing of upcoming events, visit Hurricane Productions at www.um-hp.com or call 305-284-4606.
Abhishek Shah can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.