Hip hop pioneers WIN settlement against label (back royalties + publishing)

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Originally posted by @KingOFKings





Rap Pioneers Have Settled With Sugar Hill Records Over Publishing Rights​


Sugar Hill Records


July 16, 2022


Artists on Sugar Hill Records have fought for decades to get their money and they finally have gotten it in a monetary settlement. MC Sha Rock, the first female MC, explains

"Sugar Hill Records has had a storied history in the history of Hip-Hop.

The iconic rap label is known for releasing “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979 as well as a string of music that established Hip-Hop as a commercially viable art form. It is also known for unscrupulous business practices with artists.

Some of the past wrongs in publishing have have been righted Friday, according to Rahiem of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and MC Sha Rock.

Sha Rock, who is regarded as Hip-Hop’s first female emcee, posted the following on his Facebook page, outlining her and her cohorts’ plight:


We’ve finally won against Sugar Hill Records. Let me give you the back story
Back in the early 90’s after returning to the United States from Germany. I worked effortlessly
on finding an attorney to take on Sugar Hill Records. No one wanted to take my case. I
eventually came across a woman who put me in touch with Artist Rights Enforcement in New
York City, who fights for artist rights. I became their first hip hop client. I brought in the Funky
4+1 and then went to Rahiem to bring in the furious 5. I also tried to include the Sequence… to
file a class action lawsuit, but they didn’t want any part of the law suit.
1979…. I recorded my first rap record under Enjoy Records. June 1980 the Funky 4 signed to
Sugar Hill Records.

We’ve been back in forth to court since the 1990’s. We’ve won all of our cases. 42 years later I
as well as the Funky 4+1 More, The Furious 5 and Reggie Payne Reggie Reg Crash Crew from
the Crash Crew have been vindicated. We won our final judgement. People use to think I was
tripping, simply because I’ve always spoken on the lawsuit and was determined to see this
through. Some said let it go. I can’t discuss the amount; but it’s finally over. Or we’re be back
in court if my money is short



I’m very happy to announce that after almost 40 years of litigation against Sugarhill records, we
settled out of court after an independent arbitrator determined the amount owed and we wer
awarded back royalties and moving forward all of our writers & publishing will come directly t
uS! Victory as of TODAY!!!!



Sugar Hill Records was founded by Sylvia and Joe Robinson in the 1970s. Sylvia, the main force behind the brand, propelled songs like “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugar Hill Gang and “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five into America’s national consciousness. Sylvia Robinson died in 2022 of congestive heart failure, but her family continued to managed the business affairs of Sugar H
l.!oer Hill.



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I hope Sylvia Robinson wasn't on that time, hopefully this will be the start of black people getting what they're owed out of the industry they built. Hopefully, they go on to build an industry of their own.
Rest In Peace to Sylvia Robinson, but she was definitely on that time.

Yeah hip hop is "accepted" now because of the amount of revenue it generates. Always happy to see the architects get properly compensated for their creative efforts.

*Interesting thing is I put up a thread a while back asking who was the Godmother of Hip hop.
And both Sylvia and Sha Rock had legitimate claims for being that woman.
 
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Amo Husserl

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Rest In Peace to Sylvia Robinson, but she was definitely on that time.

Interesting thing is a put up a thread a while back asking who was the Godmother of Hip hop.
And both Sylvia and Sha Rock had legitimate claims for being that woman.
I don't know what to say, considering all the shadiness she saw in the industry she should have set the precedent for dealing equitably with her own especially during the nascent stages of hip-hop. It's easy to sit back and lash people decades later, considering all the damage that's been done from then until now we should be looking at this as a case study of where and how things go wrong. Thanks.
 

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Beautiful to see. The industry is crazy in how it gives you a budget, charges everything you spend to it to make the album, perform, record, tour, do promo and all of that then (most times) they own the product as well as taking the largest cut.

So insane. X said it best:



53791a72a46ef416dcc7828a99fee9f3.jpg
 

Taadow

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I don't know what to say, considering all the shadiness she saw in the industry she should have set the precedent for dealing equitably with her own especially during the nascent stages of hip-hop. It's easy to sit back and lash people decades later, considering all the damage that's been done from then until now we should be looking at this as a case study of where and how things go wrong. Thanks.

It’s simply a(nother) case of Sylvia herself being an artist and getting robbed.
Then she learned The Game and ran it.
 

Amo Husserl

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It’s simply a(nother) case of Sylvia herself being an artist and getting robbed.
Then she learned The Game and ran it.
We gotta recognize that ain't the only way to play the game, and to a large degree that is why we stay losing on these ends. Those are the basic mechanics of the game, there are various ways to play, problem is (typically with artists) players can't think beyond what they see because they aren't business savvy to know the ins and outs and others who may be lack the creativity to play another way. Catch-22, but what're y'gonna do?
 

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Beautiful to see. The industry is crazy in how it gives you a budget, charges everything you spend to it to make the album, perform, record, tour, do promo and all of that then (most times) they own the product as well as taking the largest cut.

So insane. X said it best:


"Fall on deaf (Def) ears."

Hehehehehehe

X had a unique perspective on this topic. Out the gate, he became one of the top selling artists in the music industry(of any genre). Two number one albums within a year. Perhaps the 1st act to do so. Def Jam was "very creative" in the way they promoted hot artists and their albums. So when everything was settled for costs, X probably only saw a fraction of what he had generated.

And X was lucky in that his management wasn't jerking him.
 
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Complexion

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they aren't business savvy to know the ins and outs and others who may be lack the creativity to play another way.

Don't know about that. Look what happened to Suge, Prince and Irv when they wanted to get into distributing their product and reap the profits involved. You could arguably say the same thing about Sam Cooke and that whole stinking cover up was to send a message whilst wiping out a threat. Same with MJ who had a target on his back after he did what he did to leverage his power in the business.

Then look at the paper tigers who claim to be bossed up but really are floating on strings and beholden to anothers whims... Peep game, don't just nod your head to their BS as they sell you false information and image.

"Fall on deaf (Def) ears."

Hehehehehehe

X had a unique perspective on this topic. Out the gate, he became one of the selling artists in the music industry. Two number one albums within a year. Perhaps the 1st act to do so. Def Jam was "very creative" in the way they promoted hot artists and their albums. So when everything was settled for costs, X probably only saw a fraction of what he had generated.

And X was lucky in that his management wasn't jerking him.

True. X was super candid about it all, especially here:



Rule 4080 holds true to this day and if anything it left and came back with reinforcements to lure new suckers in.
 

Amo Husserl

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Don't know about that. Look what happened to Suge, Prince and Irv when they wanted to get into distributing their product and reap the profits involved. You could arguably say the same thing about Sam Cooke and that whole stinking cover up was to send a message whilst wiping out a threat. Same with MJ who had a target on his back after he did what he did to leverage his power in the business.

Then look at the paper tigers who claim to be bossed up but really are floating on strings and beholden to anothers whims... Peep game, don't just nod your head to their BS as they sell you false information and image.



True. X was super candid about it all, especially here:



Rule 4080 holds true to this day and if anything it left and came back with reinforcements to lure new suckers in.

Muscle, and that comes from group cohesion. That shouldn't discourage us from reaping the benefits of our music on every level, as a matter of fact that's just fuel for the burn. I'll be damned if I spent years slaving away seeing pennies when they get dollars again. Problem with a lot of artists is that they ain't with the shyts and the muscle they surround themselves with isn't organized or unified. A lawyer can be muscle; Johnnie Cochran for instance.

Instead of pointing to them as what goes wrong, we look at how to actually get it popping using them as an example of how to move.
I saw Prince go through the "slave" phase, he was right then and he's still right. If we came as a united front instead of selling out, we'd be further.
 
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