Sylvia Robinson

Sylvia Robinson, dubbed ‘the Mother Of Hip Hop’, died yesterday.

Along with husband, Joe, she founded All Platinum, one of the leading black music labels of the proto-Disco era, before going on to carve their names in Hip Hop history via their Sugar Hill company, which, along with many other influential recordings,  would release a trio of truly seminal singles – ‘Rappers Delight’ by The Sugarhill Gang, the first rap hit in 1979, ‘The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel ‘ by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, the herald of turntablism in 1981, and another Flash & The Five track ‘The Message’, presenting rap with a social conscience in 1982.

Sugar Hill was, of course, a key label for me back then. Apart from the above tracks, special mention should be made of 1983’s ‘White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)’ by Grandmaster & Melle Mel, undoubtedly one of the most distinctive records of the ’80s, Positive Force ‘We Got The Funk’, a big UK club hit following its release in ’79, and ‘Break Dancin’ – Electric Boogie’ by West Street Mob, a massive tune for me, which I used to play at Legend, Wigan Pier and The Haçienda in ’83.

All Platinum was a favourite label of mine during 1975, when they released a run of big singles – Shirley & Company ‘Shame Shame Shame’, Moments & Whatnauts ‘Girls’, Retta Young ‘Sending Out An S.O.S’,  The Rimshots ‘7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (Blow Your Whistle)’, The Moments ‘Dolly My Love’ and Calender ‘Hypertention’, all of which I bought in my pre-DJ days, along with the ‘It’s All Platinum’ compilation, which experienced heavy rotation on my record player – it was only last May that I mentioned this album in my post about Gil Scott-Heron:

Going back earlier still, her solo hit ‘Pillow Talk’ (1973) was a real tune of my adolescence – a super sensual treat to my thirteen year old ears.

Sylvia Robinson Wikipedia:

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3 Responses to Sylvia Robinson

  1. Dayo September 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Great tribite.

    RIP Sylvia!

  2. RaezoR October 3, 2011 at 8:54 pm #


    Another Icon of the Music Industry says “Goodbye”!

  3. maru February 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    A great legend, that’s an inspiration for so many people :)! Thank you Sylvia, for all you did for hip hop & women =) Rapper’s Delight , one of the best rap songs 😀

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