The writers of Fox’s hit hip-hop dynasty series Empire have been hired to pen a movie about the late co-founder of Sugar Hill Records.
Carlito Rodriguez, a former editor-in-chief of hip-hop magazine The Source, and Malcolm Spellman, who is also a label owner and artist manager, will be tasked with telling the story of Sylvia Robinson, the singer, producer and label manager affectionately known as the “mother of hip-hop.”
The movie is “pitched as more American Hustle than music biopic”, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and will focus on the race to release the first rap record. After success as a singer and songwriter, Robinson made her mark on hip-hopin the late 1970s when she assembled the members of the Sugarhill Gang for their seminal ‘Rapper’s Delight’, and she was also a driving force behind breakthrough hit ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
Reflecting the surge of interest in on-screen hip-hop of late, Warner Bros. bought the untitled project just a few weeks after the release of the hugely successful N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton – which the studio had passed on, leaving it for Universal to scoop up.