Rapper Big Bank Hank, one-third of the seminal rap trio the Sugarhill Gang, has passed away at the age of 57. According to reports, Hank, born Henry Jackson, died early Tuesday morning (Nov. 11) from cancer.

As a member of Sugarhill Gang, it was Hank who allegedly stole Grandmaster Caz's rhymes for the 1979 hit 'Rapper's Delight' on Sugar Hill Records. The song is credited for kickstarting the rap music industry and making hip-hop a commercial art form.

Born in the Bronx, N.Y., Hank graduated from Bronx Community College with an A.S. degree in oceanography. He was later discovered by Sugar Hill Records founder Sylvia Robinson who was in search of a rap act. When Sylvia asked him to join the group she was forming, Hank went to Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers for some rhymes.

Sugarhill Gang's self-titled album was released in 1980, which featured the classic song 'Rapper's Delight.' The group's second album, '8th Wonder,' boasts two of their best songs, the title track and 'Apache (Jump On It).'

Upon hearing the sad news, rappers such as Big Daddy Kane, Q-Tip and Lord Jamar, among others, went on Twitter to express their condolences on the passing of Big Bank Hank. Read their tweets below.

#RIP Henry Jackson aka "Big Bank Hank" of #SugarHillGang #RIPBigBankHank #HipHop #RappersDelight #TheBX

A photo posted by Asa Buchanon (@buchanonbangaz) on

Watch The Sugarhill Gang Perform 'Rapper's Delight'

Watch The Sugarhill Gang's '8th Wonder' Video

Watch The Sugarhill Gang's 'Apache (Jump On It)' Video

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