Sylvia Robinson [March 6, 1936 – September 29, 2011] is responsible for pushing hip-hop into the mainstream. Before Russell Simmons gave the world Run-DMC, Robinson changed music when she produced “Rappers’ Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang, a group she created. The song was a wholesale recasting of the Nile Rodgers-produced disco smash with Chic, “Good Times,” made brand new with rhymes. “Rapper’s Delight” was not only the first rap song to chart on Billboard’s Top 40, it was also one of the first songs an entire generation of hip-hop kids would memorize.

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