Hollywood and Broadway producer Paula Wagner has acquired the film rights to the life story of the late Sylvia Robinson, the singer, songwriter, record producer, publisher, and record company head known as “the Mother of Hip-Hop.” The film will feature rap music owned by Robinson’s family and administered by Universal Music Publishing Group. Rights were acquired directly from the family. Sylvia’s son, Joey Robinson, will exec produce and consult on the project. Veteran music executive Robert Kraft will co-produce. Grandmaster Melle Mel, lead rapper of the group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5, will serve as a consultant to Joey Robinson.
Robinson earned the nickname as producer of the landmark 1979 hit “Rapper’s Delight” and co-founder of Sugar Hill Records with her husband Joe Robinson. She had earlier success as part of Mickey & Sylvia, who scored with the 1958 hit “Love Is Strange.”
“Sylvia Robinson’s life story has all the elements of a great film,” Wagner said in a statement released today announcing the project. “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. ”