Big Bank Hank

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Big Bank Hank
Birth name Henry Lee Jackson
Born (1956-01-11)January 11, 1956
The Bronx, New York City, United States
Died November 11, 2014(2014-11-11) (aged 58)
Englewood, New Jersey, United States
Genres Hip hop, rap
Years active 1977–2014
Labels Sugar Hill
Associated acts Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
The Sugarhill Gang

Henry Lee Jackson (January 11, 1956 – November 11, 2014), known by his stage name, Big Bank Hank, was an American old school rapper and manager. Also known as Imp the Dimp, he was a member of the trio The Sugarhill Gang, the first hip hop act to have a hit with the cross-over single "Rapper's Delight" in the pop charts in 1979.[1] He contributed to many documentaries based on the rap music industry

Biography[edit]

Hank was born as Henry Lee Jackson[2] on January 11, 1956[3] in the Bronx, New York City, near DJ Kool Herc and Coke La Rock, as well as other rap performers. He won several championships in wrestling at Bronx Community College, where he graduated with an A.S. degree in oceanography. Unable to attain a position in oceanography, he worked the door's of a Bronx nightclub called The Sparkle, where he became a music manager for Grandmaster Caz and his group The Mighty Force MC's. While working at a pizzeria he did his job so well that when the owner of the shop expanded his business to Englewood, New Jersey, he brought Hank over to head the Crispy Crust store. While managing for a local hip hop group, the Cold Crush Brothers, Hank was discovered by Sylvia Robinson. She was out trying to find an act for the new hip-hop trend she had discovered through her son and she heard Hank rapping some of the Cold Crush Brothers' rhymes. When Robinson asked him to join the group she was forming, Hank went to Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers for rhymes. Caz gladly gave him his notebook, hoping to eventually get something in return. Hank was 22 years old at the time that the Sugarhill Gang's self-titled album was released. Big Bank Hank loved Mardi Gras.

Hank's act was known for his competition with the comic book superhero Superman. His verse depicts him meeting Lois Lane and convincing her to drop her boyfriend, Superman. Says Hank: "He's a fairy, I do suppose, flying through the air in pantyhose...He can't satisfy you with his little worm, but I can bust you out with my super sperm". In his three sections of the song, Hank uses his well-known chant: "Ho-tel, Mo-tel, what you gonna do today (say what)/I'm gonna get a fly girl, gonna get some spank n' drive off in a def O.J." (An "O.J." refers to a luxury American car, such as a Lincoln Continental. The reference is from popular TV commercials of the 1970s where NFL running back O. J. Simpson was the spokesman for Hertz rental cars.).[4]

Death[edit]

A resident of Tenafly, New Jersey, Hank died at the age of 58 at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in nearby Englewood on November 11, 2014, from kidney complications due to cancer.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bush, John. "Biography: The Sugarhill Gang". Allmusic. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ Griggs, Brandon (November 12, 2014). "Sugarhill Gang rapper Big Bank Hank dead at 57". CNN.com. Retrieved November 13, 2014. "'Big Bank Hank,' whose real name was Henry Jackson" 
  3. ^ Caramanica, Jon (November 11, 2014). "Big Bank Hank, an Early Star of Rap, Dies at 58". The New York Times. Retrieved November 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ Green, Jonathon. "def O.J." at Cassel's Dictionary of Slang, p. 393. [reprinted online at Google Books]
  5. ^ Petrick, John; and Levin, Jay. "Rapper Big Bank Hank of Englewood-based Sugar Hill Gang dies at age 57", The Record (Bergen County), November 11, 2014. Accessed November 12, 2014. "Trail-blazing rapper Big Bank Hank, whose 1979 hit “Rappers Delight” with the Englewood-based group the Sugar Hill Gang was considered the first commercially viable rap single to shoot up the charts, died Tuesday morning at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. He was 57 and lived in Tenafly."