‘Empire’ Team to Tell Story of Rap Pioneer Known as the ‘Mother of Hip-Hop’

Oct 21, 2015  •  Post A Comment

Two of the writers behind the hit Fox drama series “Empire” will tell the story of Sylvia Robinson, the co-founder of Sugar Hill Records, who is known as the “Mother of Hip-Hop.”

According to an exclusive in The Hollywood Reporter, “Empire” writers Carlito Rodriguez and Malcolm Spellman have a deal with Warner Bros. to write a movie about Robinson.

“Warner Bros. bought the untitled project mere weeks after the rap drama ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ which the studio famously had declined to make, scored big for Universal at the summer box office,” THR reports. “The Robinson film, pitched as more ‘American Hustle’ than music biopic, will focus on the race to release the first rap record. Robinson burst onto the scene in the late 1970s with Sugarhill Gang’s hit song, ‘Rapper’s Delight,’ which was widely credited as the first hit to push hip-hop into the mainstream.”

Robinson, who died in 2011, was also behind other seminal rap releases, notably the Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five landmark “The Message.”

Robinson was previously part of the R&B duo Mickey & Sylvia, along with Mickey Baker. Mickey & Sylvia — Robinson was then known as Sylvia Vanderpool — had a big hit with their 1956 record “Love Is Strange.”

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