Sylvia is called “The Mother of Hip-Hop.” #IYKYK She’s known for her work as founder and CEO of the hip-hop label Sugar Hill Records. She’s credited as the driving force behind 2 landmark hip-hop singles; “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) by the Sugarhill Gang and “The Message” (1982) by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Most online accounts reference Sylvia as the “Godmother of Rap Music” because she produced “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang. 

Y’all know that term ‘grown folks music’? Well, this is grown folks music to the 10th degree depending on who’s listening. That will make more sense as you continue reading. 

I heard this song for the first time last year. From those first five notes and a sigh on “Pillow Talk,” her biggest hit, Sylvia became the first female with the sensuality in a song that counteracted the Barry White’s and Isaac Hayes’ love-filled monologues of the ‘70s. Before there was Donna Summer’s moans in “Love to Love You Baby” (1975), there was “Pillow Talk.” 

Story time! Y’all know I always have a story. “Pillow Talk” sat around a year and a half before it was recorded. Sylvia had originally hoped the song would be recorded by Al Green, but he turned it down as he thought it was too risqué and against his religious beliefs. Apparently, it was TOO grown! Mmm hmmm, chile. 

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Sylvia Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk

Sylvia Robinson

Album: Pillow Talk

Well, Sylvia decided to return as a musical artist and record “Pillow Talk” herself, finally releasing the song in 1973. The song spent 2 weeks at #1 on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart and peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Sylvia Sylvia

As we say our farewells to this soulful exploration of them soundscapes that filled the air of 1970s Philadelphia, one thing’s for sure: the city’s musical legacy continues to resound with folks from all walks of life. The Soulful Symphony not only captured the very essence of that era but also transcended time, leavin’ an everlasting imprint on our hearts. From them vibrant rhythms flowin’ through them streets to them heartfelt lyrics that spoke of the joys and struggles of everyday life, this era stands as a testament to the power of music to connect, inspire, and move us all. So, as we carry the torch of soulful sounds forward, let us never forget the magic that unfolded on them streets and them extraordinary artists who weaved the very fabric of Philadelphia’s musical identity. Keep on groovin’, y’all!

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