Between the gargantuan success of both Fox’s Empire and Universal’s Straight Outta Compton, hip-hop media has grabbed everyone’s attention in 2015. Biopics for the likes of Tha Dogg Pound, Death Row Records, Wu-Tang, and even the formation of Def Jam have been tossed around lately, but the latest to stick is a film centered around Sylvia Robinson, The Mother of Hip-Hop.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Empire writers Carlito Rodriguez and Malcolm Spellman have been tapped to write the story of the pioneering producer’s role in founding Sugar Hill Records and releasing some of the first commercially successful rap records like the Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” back in 1979 and Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s “The Message” in 1982. The film will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Spellman originally recommended Rodriguez, the former editor-in-chief of The Source, for the gig on Empire, and this would be their first official project working together. Johnson is a remarkable figure who has flown under the radar of all but the most devoted hip-hop heads for years, so it’s great to see Warner Bros. take such an interest in it (especially since they passed up on Straight Outta Compton originally).