Empire Writers to Pen Script on the Real Mother of Hip Hop

NEW YORK - CIRCA 1958: Rhythm and blues duo Mickey and Sylvia (Mickey Baker and Sylvia Vanderpool) pose for a portrait circa 1958 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Empire Writers to Pen Script on the Real Mother of Hip Hop

A Sylvia Robinson biopic is in the works.

Published October 21, 2015

Cookie Lyon is one of the most powerful matriarch's on TV, but her story has roots in a real-life hip hop legend. Sylvia Robinson, co-founder of Sugar Hill Records, is known as the "mother of hip hop," and now she'll be getting the big screen treatment thanks to two of the writers from Empire.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Carlito Rodriguez and Malcolm Spellman, writers on the hit Fox series, have been tapped to tell the story of the race to release the first rap record. Robinson burst onto the scene in the late 1970s with Sugarhill Gang's hit song "Rapper's Delight," which was widely credited as the first hit to push hip hop into the mainstream. One of the first women in this male-dominated world, she was also a driving force behind other breakthrough hits, including "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

The pitch for the film, which is said to be more in the vein of American Hustle than a traditional music biopic, was bought by Warner Brothers just weeks after Straight Outta Compton became an unexpected smash hit. WB famously passed on the N.W.A biopic and are clearly hoping not to miss the wave this time around.

No word on a release date, title or lead cast for the film, but it will probably be at least a year before we see it on the big screen. 

Watch the cast of Straight Outta Compton name their favorite rappers from today and back in the day below:

(Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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Written by Evelyn Diaz


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