Profile Records

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Profile Records
Profile Records.gif
Parent company Sony Music Entertainment
Founded 1981
Status Inactive
Distributor(s) Legacy Recordings
Genre Hip Hop
Country of origin United States
Official website profile-records.com

Profile Records was a record label that specialized in urban-oriented music such as hip hop. It was active until 1996.

History[edit]

In 1980 Cory Robbins, who was then 23 and had working briefly for MCA, wanted to start a record label. He invited his songwriter friend Steve Plotnicki to be a partner. They each borrowed $17,000 from their parents and Profile Records was born. Their tiny office opened at 250 West 57th street in NYC on May 1, 1981. Contrary to the Urban myth that has existed for decades, Robbins and Plotnicki did not buy Profile Records from MCA Records, nor was it the child of any other label. The label started as and remained an independent company created by Robbins and Plotnicki.

With the success of “Genius Rap” by Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde they escaped financial ruin by a mere $2,000. From there it was Gidea Park's “Seasons of Gold” that brought more commercial and financial success, becoming Profile Records’ first hit to make the Billboard Hot 100. In 1982 the fledgling label gained international recognition with the club hit I Specialize in Love, recorded by Sharon Brown (singer),[1] licensed to Virgin Records in the U.K. The label continued its commercial success, with gold and platinum sales with artists such as Dana Dane, Twin hype, Run DMC, Poor Righteous Teachers, Nemesis, and Paul Hardcastle to name a few.

In 1985, the label moved to a headquarters at 740 Broadway in New York. The label had numerous sub-labels such as Smile Communications (which later became independent and continued to be controlled by Plotnicki after Profile was acquired), Sea Bright Records, and Robert Hill's Zakia Records, the label that launched the career of hip hop legends Eric B. & Rakim and King Sun.

Profile's biggest act was Run-D.M.C., which was introduced to Robbins when manager Russell Simmons sent him a demo cassette of It's like That (Run–D.M.C. song). Robbins signed the group soon after.

Although Profile rejected a few artists that went on to fame, it had great success with the artists it did sign including over 500 different albums sold, and gold and platinum success via dozens of artists.

It was after the success of Young MC and Tone Lōc that Profile opened its door to West Coast and Houston MCs, which proved yet another lucrative opportunity.

Thirteen years earlier, new record label owners Robbins and Plotnicki never used attorneys to sign their talent but decided that a solid handshake was enough for their own partnership. There was no ownership contract between the two, so as the end drew nigh, it became harder and harder to see eye-to-eye. Robbins sold his interest to Plotnicki when he left the company in 1994 and opened the Dance music label Robbins Entertainment. In 1997, Plotnicki sold Profile to Arista Records, after a fierce bidding war between that company and Tommy Boy Records.

The partners' less than amicable split severed not only all business ties but all personal ones too. Robbins, in 2008, said he had no regrets “except for an occasional loss, it was a good experience, a positive experience but I would not change a thing.”[2]

Sony Music Entertainment manages some (but not all[citation needed]) of Profile's back catalog and master recordings.

Artists[edit]

Hip hop[edit]

Others[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco 1974-2003, (Record Research Inc.), page 46.
  2. ^ Yahoo! Message Boards - Run-D.M.C. - The best RUN-DMC Web page