I Want My Name Back – “The Sugarhill Gang” Documentary Review

I Want My Name Back is Roger Paradiso’s documentary about hip hop pioneers The Sugarhill Gang. Introducing the world to hip hop over 30 years ago, I Want My Name Back delves into the meteoric rise of The Sugarhill Gang. Through its chance beginnings in New Jersey to the subsequent struggles that crew members, Wonder Mike (Michael Wright) and Master Gee (Gary O’Brien) faced as they battled their own label and the legal system which stripped them of their identities and their rightful legacies.

I Want My Name Back is more than a ‘behind the music’/’where are they now?’ look at The Sugarhill Gangs original members. The mishmash of stylings is reinforced by the fact that their struggles are still ongoing. The story is quite phenomenal; take an upcoming hip hop group from New Jersey, add mafia figures a hip hop label that nurtured some of histories finest artists and watch as The Sugarhill Gang introduces the world to hip hop.

But, the story of the rise of this legendary hip hop group and how they changed the face of hip hop only makes up a small fraction of this documentary. By intersecting modern-day interviews spliced with classic footage of The Sugarhill Gang performing, Paradiso’s I Want My Name Back takes aim at the record company that stole the identities of Wonder Mike and Master Gee, effectively ending their careers and placing its members under financial difficulty.

We also see interviews from other pioneering artists including Treach (Naughty By Nature), Grandmaster Caz as they further reinforce Wonder Mike and Master Gee’s story. I Want My Name Back is a great flick, a must see for any music fan and any aspiring artists alike. We rate Roger Paradiso’s – I Want My Name Back a massive 4.5/5. You can catch the official screening of I Want My Name Back tonight in Melbourne at the Brown Class Cinema, and in a few weeks in Sydney. 

 Rapper’s Delight is still, to this day, the number one selling single in Hip Hop History.

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