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Little Sylvia Vanderpool

A distribution deal with the large MCA label dissolved in an acrimonious lawsuit, and Robinson's long run of hitmaking was over. Within a few months of the release of "Rapper's Delight" in October ofthe Sugarhill Gang was opening for the high-flying funk band Funkadelic and appearing in Europe, and Robinson was keeping watch over a hour-a-day production schedule at Sugar Hill.

Cohen of the New York Times. Entrepreneur Sylvia Robinson didn't create hip-hop music, but she may have done more than any single individual to carve out a space for it in the musical marketplace. The label did well enough to launch several subsidiaries, including Stang and Turbo, and several All Platinum releases, including the chart-topping Moments' smash "Love on a Two-Way Street"became major hits.

Joseph Robinson died in the yearand she was reportedly devastated by a fire that leveled the historic Sugar Hill studios in In an Englewood pizzeria she heard Henry Jackson, known as Big Bank Hank, rapping over the music playing on the restaurant's sound system.

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The label was partly bankrolled by former Roulette Records owner Morris Levy, a cutthroat veteran of the New York recording scene. The instrumental backing track of the record was based on Chic's dance hit "Good Irony vs sarcasm yahoo dating but the sampling impulse preceded the technical development of the concept: Leland and Joseph Jr.

Sugar Hill notched another success with the emergence of the Washington, D. That summer Robinson encountered the new music once again.

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By the time she enrolled at Washington Irving High School she was already singing music in the new rhythm-and-blues genre, and she attracted the attention of a Columbia Records staffer. Sylvia Robinson co-wrote that ballad with Bert Keyes.

Robinson recorded a new album, Sylvia, in Robinson asked him if he wanted to record. The Sugarhill Gang followed up "Rapper's Delight" with several more successful singles, including "8th Wonder," and Robinson and her husband signed several more talented rappers to their new label.

The group was named for the Robinsons' new label, Sugar Hill, which in turn was named for an elegant section of New York's Harlem neighborhood.

Robinson faced other problems in her later years.

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Rights to the Sugar Hill catalog were sold to the Rhino label in In she launched a lawsuit against Blaze magazine, contending that the publication had unfairly accused her of cheating Sugar Hill artists out of their proper royalties.

Two years later Sylvia married Joseph Robinson, a real estate agent. It was Robinson's Sugar Hill label that first put hip-hop music on records, and in she brought together the musicians who created the piece that gave hip-hop music its name, the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight.

By the end of the decade, the hits had dried up, leaving All Platinum in dire financial straits. Give It Up In Vain What Robinson was witnessing was an early stage of the rap phenomenon, with a DJ improvising rhymes over instrumental mixes of dance recordings and perhaps manipulating the recordings themselves inventively.

For Sugar Hill's youthful artists, Robinson played the role of mentor.


The company had already filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy when Robinson was taken for her birthday to the New York club Harlem World in He gave up his career to become her manager, but retained his salesman's attitude, telling interviewers, according to the London Independent, that "music is music; what I try to do is to get it played and sell it.

She made her first record when she was 14, backed by the veteran jazz trumpeter "Hot Lips" Page, and through the early s she recorded, sometimes as Little Sylvia, for a variety of small labels including Savoy and Cat. But The Vibe History of Hip-Hop and other accounts of hip-hop's early days were beginning to take note of her pioneering role, rooted in decades of involvement with the African-American popular musical scene.

The steamy "Pillow Talk"released on the Vibration imprint with Robinson once again billed simply as Sylvia, anticipated the sensuality of the disco era, with Sylvia's breathy seductive vocals and her assertion that "it takes two to tangle.

Little Sylvia Vanderpool

Perhaps All Platinum's most successful release, however, featured Sylvia Robinson herself on vocals. In Robinson's studio, the Sugarhill Gang recorded the hip-hop genre's debut inch single, "Rapper's Delight. With their own in-house recording studio, Soul Sound Studios, they were well positioned to take advantage of the growing soul market.