Sugar Hill Records: The hit factory that robbed everyone blind

A nice piece on Sugar Hill Records done by Robbie from Unkut over @ AM, here’s an excerpt of it …

Sylvia had a strong R&B background, and she applied that experience to making rap records. This meant researching what the hottest break of the week was and having it replayed and re-arranged by her new house band (guitarist Skip McDonald, bassist Doug Wimbish, drummer Keith LeBlanc, percussionist Ed ‘Duke Bootee’ Fletcher and arranger Clifton ‘Jiggs’ Chase). She would then assign a track to the MCs she thought it would suit, record it and send a cassette of it to Mr Magic to play on his Friday night Rap Attack show. If the song was well-received, the orders would start flying in and they’d press up the singles. While this was a great business model for the fast-moving musical climate of the time, it also meant that everyone was expendable. Sylvia treated the house band and the rappers as session musicians, which meant that she ultimately considered the records to be her brainchild and credited herself as the co-writer, which was sometimes shared with the MCs, her son Joey and arranger Clifton ‘Jiggs’ Chase.

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