ENJOY!

 

The biggest differences in Sugarhill & Enjoy! first:  Sugarhill beat Enjoy! to the punch as far as releasing rap records . Secondly , Enjoy! signed more crews who actually had formed groups , rocked the streets/known Hip Hop clubs and earned a rep ; as opposed to Sugarhill who signed a lot of groups that were parody acts designed to make a quick buck. . Lastly, Enjoy! didn't have the power / funds or contacts in the industry to really push the material that they released.

 

Bobby Robinson is the founder of Enjoy Records . He was going to originally open up a shoeshine parlor in Harlem in 1945. He later noticed that there was only one record store on 125th st - Rainbow record shop. He started his record store in 1946 . He did so well that executives from Chess & Atlantic records started to seek his advice. In 1949 he produced his first record - the label was called Robin records . He went on to produce several Doo Wop groups such as the Charts & the Channels . He also had 2 other labels - Fire and Fury . His biggest hit was " Kansas City " by Wilbert Harrison . Bobby also is said to have discovered Glady Knight & The Pips.

 

Around 1977 Hip Hop caught his attention...he saw the kids doing it in the parks. He also had a Nephew named Gabriel Jackson aka Spoonie Gee . Spoonie  asked his Uncle to let him record several times . He didn't pay any attention until Sugarhill released the several times platinum "Rappers Delight" .  Bobby asked Spoonie who the best Emcees were and Spoonie replied Furious 5 & Funky 4 . " Rappin & Rockin The House " by Funky 4 was Enjoys first release . Later  came "Superrappin" by Furious . He was reportedly selling 2000 plus copies a day of both records.

 

Next came " Love Rap " / " New Rap Language " by the Treacherous 3 (Spoonie was a member of Treacherous at the time) . Bobby went on to sign Disco 4 , of which his son was a member , Fearless 4 , Masterdon Committee , Dougie Fresh , Kool Kyle and several others .  By 1980 Furious 5 & Funky 4 went to Sugarhill , both displeased with his lack of power to get thier releases played like Sugarhill could . Treacherous 3 would later go to Sugarhill as well . Disco 4 , Pumpkin , Masterdon and Kool Kyle all went to Profile ; and Enjoy was out of the business by 1985 . Enjoy and Sugarhill are no doubt the blueprint for the entire rap record industry .

                         SUGAR HILL

This is the label that started it all . Sugarhill was the first to sucsessfully market Hip Hop music , and made the 12" single a marketable format for music . Many artists from the original school of rap passed through the label - Spoonie G , GMF & Furious 5 , Kevie Kev (from Fantastic 5) , Busy Bee , Crash Crew , Treach 3 , Funky 4 + 1 in addition to Mean Machine , Sequence (Angie Stones first group) , Sugarhill Gang and many more . Even Go Go band Trouble Funk was once affiliated . Singers like Philippe Wynn of the Spinners , Ray Goodman & Brown (The Moments) , Candi Staton and others also released material from this Jersey based powerhouse .

 

Sugarhill was started by Joe & Sylvia Robinson . Actually they already had a few labels releasing R&B in the 70s - Stang , All Platinum & Turbo . Sylvia had sucsess with " Love Is Strange " , and " Pillow Talk ". She had a good ear for hits and was well established in the music biz . Sugarhill was an influential section of Harlem - and that was the basis for the name of her new label . The story goes that Morris Levy fronted the couple money for the label . Levy  owned Roulette records , which has a Roulette logo 95% identical to the first Sugarhill Releases. (See photo on the left) . One of the first releases on Sugarhill was Positve Forces " We Got The Funk " . It was  a very good record and it received heavy radio play . Rakim sampled it for his remix to " Let The Rythm Hit Em " in the late 80s. The bomb of course was dropped with " Rappers Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang . After the multiplatinum sales of that record Sylvia released Greatest Rap Hits vol 1 in 1980 . By this time she had signed Furious 5 , and had secured rights to songs by Funky 4 , Lady B and any other popular rap songs at the time . In the next few years she had signed all of Enjoy Records (her only real competitor at the time) good artists .

 

sylvia.jpg (15764 bytes)The label continued to release quality material including Grandmaster Flash & F 5s the Message . The label started to lose steam by ' 83 when the whole new school was emerging led by Run Dmc . The label failed to change with the times and by 1985 was releasing its last material . Notable releases in the last days were "Gotta Rock" by Treacherous 3 , "Step Off" , "Pump Me Up" by Furious 5 , "Busy Bs Groove" by Busy Bee. Without a doubt the whole industry of Hip Hop would be totally different if it was not for the vision of Joe & Sylvia Robinson.