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Sugar Hill Records (Hip-Hop label)

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Title: Sugar Hill Records (Hip-Hop label)  
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Subject: Sylvia Robinson, Big Bank Hank, Music of New Jersey, Englewood, New Jersey, WLPWR
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sugar Hill Records (Hip-Hop label)

Sugar Hill Records
Founded 1979
Founder Joe Robinson
Sylvia Robinson
Milton Malden
Status Defunct
Genre Electro, Boogie, Hip-Hop
Country of origin United States
Location Englewood, New Jersey

Sugar Hill Records was the name of a rap music record label that was founded in 1979 by husband and wife Joe and Sylvia Robinson with Milton Malden and financial funding of Morris Levy, the owner of Roulette Records.[1][2]


  • History 1
    • Beginnings 1.1
    • Success 1.2
    • Sold out 1.3
  • Label overviews 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


Joe Robinson had parlayed a music publishing company that he established years before in New York into the All Platinum, Stang, and Turbo record labels prior to establishing the Sugar Hill label. Artists included his wife Sylvia, of Mickey and Sylvia (Love is Strange) fame, The Moments (Love on a Two Way Street), Brother to Brother, Shirley and Company ("Shame Shame Shame"), Linda Jones, Jack McDuff and Chuck Jackson.


The Sugar Hill label's first record was "Spike Lee making his first video production depicting the White Lines record (performed by Melle Mel and The Furious Five). Joe Robinson was innovative in the business end. He was the first to introduce a cassette single. He also worked with TVS Television Network executive Tom Ficara to produce the Fresh Groove TV series to feature these music videos when MTV would not run them. The success of Fresh Groove forced MTV to establish Yo! MTV Raps, and rap music videos were now on a mainstream cable network.

Sold out

A controversial distribution deal with MCA Records ended up in protracted litigation, and, finally, the label closed down in 1986. In 1995, Rhino Records purchased all the released and unreleased masters owned by the Sugar Hill label, although they are controlled by BMG Rights Management[3] outside of North America. In 2002, Sugar Hill Studios in Englewood, New Jersey were destroyed by a fire. "Rapper's Delight," "The Message," and many other Sugar Hill hits were recorded there.

Label overviews

  • Old School Rap - The Sugar Hill Story (To The Beat Y'all)[4] (3-CD, 1993, Sequel Records)
  • The Best Of Sugar Hill Records[5] (1-CD, 1994, Hot Classics)
  • The Message: The Story Of Sugar Hill Records[6] (4-CD, 1994, Castle Music) [UK Only]
  • The Sugar Hill Records Story[7] (5-CD+12", 1997, Rhino Records) [re-released in 1999 without the 12-inch]
  • The Best Of Sugar Hill Records[8] (1-CD, 1998, Rhino Records) [different compilation than above]

See also


  1. ^ allmusic reviewSugar Hill Records Story
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
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