Sugarhill Gang @ Ponderosa

Review of Sugarhill Gang at Ponderosa at Tramlines.
“Put your hands up in the air!” – If you didn’t raise your hands at least once, then you have no excuses. Sugarhill Gang’s set was a masterclass in crowd control.

At times watching a group of blokes in their late-fifties rapping on stage seemed like more of a novelty, causing laughter on occasions rather than cheers. They might not be the new kids on the block anymore, but that was more than made up for with enough charisma to charm anyone into appreciating hip-hop. Pulling the largest crowd of the weekend so far with queues stretching to crazy lengths, the genre’s icons brought Ponderosa Park to its most heightened atmosphere yet.

Awash with mash-ups taken from the likes of House of Pain, DJ EZ and Vanilla Ice, the ageing artists may have shown off more of the music they adore than their own. Breaking into ‘Apache’ early doors, the crowd were loving every minute – and things were soon to get crazy as they were joined on stage by none other than Grandmaster Flash.

After ‘White Lines’ had the Ponderosa crowd singing along en masse, it wasn’t long before ‘Rappers Delight’ loomed. A countdown from ten welcomed the instantly recognisable beats of their most anticipated hit. Blaring over the park everyone danced in earnest to the rhythm of the ‘boogie, the beat’ one last time before they left Sheffield with the words: “Make some noise for hip-hop. Make some noise for yourself”.

Jacob Flannery

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