What’s in a Name?

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

by R.C. Samo

Editor-in-Chief

Juliet Capulet pondered “What’s in a name? That which we call a roseby any other name would smell as sweet…” but it is only makes sense that a 15-year-old would question the significance of ones own identity, whether for love or life. As we grow older we realize that our last name becomes more significant than our first; if not for our ancestors who insured our survival.

In the game of hip hop, your name means just as much if not more than your surname. In the case of Michael Wright and Guy O’Brien it was purely identity theft. If you aren’t familiar with their given names, you might recognize them as Wonder Mike and Master Gee, from the famed hip hop group The Sugarhill Gang.

Wright who was the first person ever to be heard on a rap record along with Big Bank Hank and Master Gee, revolutionized music and in 1979, commercial rap music was on the Billboard Charts opening the way for acts like Funky 4 + 1, Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel and the Furious Five, Run DMC, the Beastie Boys, all the to today with 50 Cent, Flo Rida and Kanye West.

If not for Wright and O’Brien, who currently tour as, “Rapper’s Delight featuring Wonder Mike and Master Gee,” hip hop would not be a multi-billion dollar industry, unfortunately for Mike and Gee, they’ve only seen a total of about $250,000 in the 32 years since the best selling rap record in history was released. Sugarhill Records founded by Sylvia and Joe Robinson Sr., on the other hand, the record company that published and stole the rights to not only Sugarhill Gang’s music but there identities. That’s right, their identities!

In the documentary, “I Want my Name Back,” Roger Paridiso crawls through the webs of deceit, cons and outright lies in how Wright and O’Brien lost their identities. Joe Robinson Jr. in 1995, copyrighted, “Sugarhill Gang”, “Wonder Mike” and “Master Gee”, using falsified documentation claiming that Wright and O’Brien were dead and under oath claimed that these names did not pertain to any living persons.

“We kicked down the doors for others to get their deals,” said Wonder Mike, who flew in from Germany in order to attend the Newport Beach Film Festival.

Big Bank Hank, sided with the Robinson’s and stayed with the record label’s version of the crew, allowing them to continue to tour as The Sugarhill Gang with an original member. Ironically, Hank wasn’t a rapper, his famous introductory line in “Rapper’s Delight,” was “I’m the C-A-S-an the-O-V-A and the rest is F-L-Y, I go by the code of the doctor of the mix and these reasons I’ll tell you you why,” stealing these lyrics from New Jersey Rapper, Curtis Brown, the real Casanova Fly, better known today as Grandmaster Caz.

The documentary takes us through the highs and lows of the lives of Wright and O’Brien, the legal battles with the Leland and Joe Robinson Jr. copyrighting their songs, their names and their identities. From 1994 to 2005, Wonder Mike referred to this period as, “The dumbest 11 years of my life,” in which he went along with Joe Jr. who took on the persona of Master Gee, performing with the group claiming to be an original member.

When Wright left in 2005, he reconnected with O’Brien, began creating again and with the buzz of return of the ORIGINAL Sugarhill Gang, the Robinson’s were out to shut them down. One fiendish example was during the 30th anniversary for the hit single, Wonder Mike and Master Gee were returning to O’Brien’s alma mater at Dwight Morrow High School, hosting a free seminar for the students as well as a concert. The school board, after receiving word from Sugarhill Records, claimed it was too expensive to host such an event; that cost — an astronomical $600.

“You are 90 percent more likely to encounter more honorable people on death row than you will with executives in the music business,” said Gregg Wright, Wonder Mike’s older brother and the lead guitarist for the Jackson’s Victory Tour.

Wonder Mike’s younger brother Paul, remembers a time when The Sugarhill Gang were on tour and met with the Robinson’s.

“I remember seeing The Sugarhill Gang at Howard University and Sylvia Robinson sat my parents down on their tour bus and said to my mother that Mike would be a wealthy man,” said the younger Wright brother.

These days, Rapper’s Delight featuring Wonder Mike and Master Gee, by a court order have gotten their names back, and are touring with Grandmaster Caz and Grandmaster Melle Mel. Their first single to break the top 40 in over 25 years entitled, “LaLa Song,” was also a smash hit in Europe and recently recorded the infectious club hit, “I Want my Name Back.” The court battles have not diminished their desire to create music.

What’s in a name? Ask Wonder Mike and Master Gee, it means the world.

“Know your worth, that way shysters won’t take you down. Whether you’re a baker, a stone mason or whatever, do it to the best of your ability,” said Wonder Mike.

YogaOutlet.com

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Solo Press Conference
The Cast and Crew of ‘Solo’ Discuss Making a Different Kind of ‘Star Wars’ Movie

There was a sense of relief when the cast and crew...

Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life
Steve Martin and Martin Short Shine in ‘An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life’

Steve Martin and Martin Short have worked together quite a few...

Explained Netflix
Netflix and Vox Team Up for Documentary Series ‘Explained,’ Explained

Vox started in 2014 as a website with an expressed goal...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Coffee Crisis Interview with C# Developer Nick Mann

Check out our Coffee Crisis Interview with C# Developer Nick Mann...

A World’s First by Worlds Adrift! – Launching on Early Access

Upcoming PC game, Worlds Adrift, is launching players into the sky...

First Major Hunt: Showdown Content Update Now Live On Steam

The first major Hunt: Showdown content update is now live on Steam and...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Action Comics No. 1000 gets a Super-Sized Deluxe Edition Release

From DC Comics – Burbank, CA – (April 30, 2018) –...

7.5/10
‘The Prisoner #1’ is an Intricate and Entertaining Tale of Intrigue

The Prisoner #1 Story by: Peter Milligan Art by: Colin Lorimer Coloring by: Joana...

Comic Legend Stan Lee Sued Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations by Massage Therapist

From Canyon PR – CHICAGO – Apr. 23, 2018 – Maria...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Work-Play Lens
High-Tech Meets High Fashion in GUNNAR Optiks New Work-Play Lens

GUNNAR Optiks partners with Publish to release new Work-Play Lens that...

Keep Your Gear from Not Feeling So Good – Infinity War Skins Review

Skinit goes for the head with their Avengers: Infinity War skins –...

Spring/Summer 2018: adidas Sports Updates Line of Mobile Accessories

April 2018 — adidas Sport launches collection of lightweight products designed to...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Showtime to Air ‘Bipolar Rock ‘N’ Roller’ Mauro Ranallo Doc on May 25th

From Bellator MMA and Showtime – New York – April 30,...

Bas Rutten Talks Kicking Opioid Addiction with the Help of Receptra CBD Oil

  One of the most decorated MMA champions and UFC Hall...

Roxy Astor Meets With GLOW…the Netflix Version

As much as people love drama, there was nothing but love...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Adult Continuity Issue #13 – Avengers XXX – A porn parody

I review AvengersXXX and make masturbation jokes. Be smart with your Fapdollar(tm);...

Comics on the can – Black Panther (Priest run) Issue #46

Comics on the can muses about Black Panther during Priest's legendary...

MissionFest Wine, Craft Beer and Food Festival Takes Place 4th of July Weekend

MissionFest™ Wine, Craft Beer, Food and Music Festivals, combines two great...

Event News Event Reviews
KOEI TECMO America Announces Dead or Alive EVO Showdown 2018

KOEI TECMO America Announces Dead or Alive EVO Showdown 2018, A Celebration...

The Music Tastes Good Volume III Line Up Has Been Announced

Music Tastes Good Volume III, presented by 89.9 KCRW, Line Up has...

free comic book day
Free Manga from VIZ Media for Free Comic Book Day

TLDR: VIZ Media will provide free manga samplers on Free Comic...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming. Related

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

Long Beach Punk Band ‘Spider’ Rocks ‘It’s Not Dead’ Festival

Spider is a heavy hitting punk band out of Long Beach,...

%d bloggers like this: