The film rights for the “Mother of Hip Hop,” the late Sylvia Robinson (pictured), who helped put the musical genre on the map, was acquired by producer Paula Wagner, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Robinson co-founded Sugar Hill Records, the label that produced the Sugarhill Gang’s 1979 classic “Rapper’s Delight,” credited as the first monster hit to get folks to sit up and pay attention to Hip-Hop. Robinson was also the machine behind such early Hip-Hop artists as Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, who recorded the classic song, “The Message.”
Wagner secured the rights to Robinson’s life story from her son, Joey, who will reportedly act as the biopic’s consultant and executive producer. Grandmaster Melle Mel, another Hip-Hop pioneer, will also wear the hat of consultant on the film.
According to Wagner, the film will span Robinson’s four decade career and encompass all of the important aspects of her busy life, including the music business, her mercurial love life and the indelible mark she left on a genre of music that has grown to immense proportions.
“Sylvia Robinson’s life story has all the elements of a great film,” said Wagner in a statement according to The Hollywood Reporter. “It is not only the story of female empowerment at a time when the world of music was male-dominated, but it’s also a story of the origin of Hip-Hop and how this woman’s determination, immense talent and savvy business sense fostered an entire musical movement.”
“This movie is going to show how my parents were able to remain independent, keep control of their publishing and master recordings and how they later dealt with the major record labels and mob associates,” added Joey. “Sugarhill paved the way for a new genre of music that the industry had no knowledge of back in 1979. You will see the struggles of what Sugarhill went through to keep Hip-Hop music alive when the industry wanted to bury it.”
Besides navigating the musical careers of performers, Robinson, herself, was a recording artist with such hits under her belt as “Love Is Strange” in 1957, as part of the duo Mickey and Sylvia and the 1973 R&B hit, “Pillow Talk,” which was a solo project.