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. He contributed to many documentaries based on the rap music industry. The lyrics to his verse from "Rapper's Delight" were purportedly plagiarized from rhymes written by Grandmaster Caz.
Hank was born as Henry Lee Jackson on January 11, 1956 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. But unable to attain a position in oceanography, he worked the doors 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, Jackson did his job so well that when the owner of the shop expanded his business to Englewood, New Jersey, he brought Jackson over to head the Crispy Crust store. While managing for a local hip hop group, the Cold Crush Brothers, Jackson 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 Jackson rapping some of the Cold Crush Brothers's rhymes. When Robinson asked him to join the group she was forming, Jackson went to Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers for rhymes. Caz gladly gave him his notebook, hoping to eventually get something in return. Jackson, now called "Big Bank 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. Rapped 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.).
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.
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