Riposte Nº6: Hip Hop’s Mom — Remembering Sylvia Robinson
Riposte is a smart magazine for women, made by editor in chief Danielle Pender, creative director Shaz Madani, photography editor Gem Fletcher, features editor Liv Siddall and a roll call of excellent creatives. I've served as contributing editor since it's inception in 2013. Here's an excerpt from my article on hip hop mogul Sylvia Robinson.
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The original dirty dancer. Ike & Tina’s hit maker. Too hot for the Rev. Al Green. She had a voice like particularly sexy honey and the business guts to put the first rap on vinyl. We are joined by Wonder Mike to celebrate Sylvia Robinson, the woman who brought us Rapper’s Delight and changed the course of music history.
Born in New York City in 1936, Sylvia Robinson, née Vanderpool, left Washington Irving High School when she was 14 to join Columbia Records. In 1954 she began working with a guitar-wielding Kentucky musician by the name of Mickey Baker. Let’s pause here for a moment and consider the following lyrics:
“How do you call your Lover Boy?” “Come here, Lover Boy!”
“And if he doesn't answer?”
“Oh, Lover Boy!”
“And if he still doesn't answer?”
“I simply say... Baby / Oh baby / My sweet baby /
You're the one...”
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