Producer Paula Wagner is developing a biopic based on the life and career of the woman who successfully introduced hip hop to the mainstream.
Producer Paula Wagner has acquired the film rights to Sylvia Robinson aka the Mother of Hip Hop's life story with the plan to make a biopic. Robinson's son Joey Robinson will executive produce and consult on the project.
Robinson was credited for pushing hip hop into the mainstream when she produced and co-wrote the song "Rapper's Delight" by Sugarhill Gang. She was also the driving force behind another landmark single "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
The film will focus on Robinson's life and career from her time as one half of duo Mickey and Sylvia to her time as producer, a solo artist and the record label founder. Sugar Hill music of the era, which catalog is owned by the Robinsons and administered by Universal Music Group, will be featured in the movie. The pioneer died of heart failure in 2011 at the age of 75.
"Sylvia Robinson's life story has all the elements of a great film," said Wagner in a statement. "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."
Grandmaster Melle Mel will also be a consultant to Joey on the film. Music exec Robert Kraft is to co-produce.
"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," Joey Robinson said. "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."