Joe and Sylvia Robinson were the founders of Sugar Hill Records in the late 1970s. Known as the first hip hop label, Sugar Hill produced hits including The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight, and Grandmaster Flash’s “White Lines,” among others. When not in the studio, Joe and Sylvia spent time with their three children, sons Joseph, Jr., Leland, and Rhondo. Joe Sr. passed away in 2000; Sylvia passed away in 2011. Now Leland Robinson is trying to revive Sugar Hill.
It’s been a difficult journey professionally and personally. Both of Leland’s brothers have recently died. His older brother Joseph “Joey” Robinson, Jr. died in 2015 at the age of 53. He succumbed to cancer. His younger brother Rhondo “Scutchie” Robinson died in 2014 of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. He was 43. Rhondo’s son, Rhondo Jr. is working with Leland at Sugar Hill and appears on First Family of Hip Hop which airs Sundays at 9pm on Bravo.