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The Right Profile: Early Rap Label Anthologized on New Double-Disc Set

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Legacy Recordings has got a fantastic new compilation coming out later this month chronicling the rise of a most underrated rap label: Profile Records.

Profile was the brainchild of two young aspiring music moguls living in New York City at the tail end of the disco boom. Steve Plotnicki was a songwriter whose cult disco tune, “Love Insurance,” was recorded by Cory Robbins in 1979, for release on Robbins’ own Panorama label, a small imprint with ties to MCA Music Publishing. The duo aspired to create a label for the danceable music they so treasured, and with a $34,000 loan from their parents, did just that.

While success was hard to come by at first, the duo discovered they had an ear for the burgeoning rap scene taking the five boroughs by storm. Artists like the Disco Four, Dana Dane and the Fresh 3 MCs were early, minor successes for Profile Records, but things really started to pick up when the label signed a trio from Hollis, Queens named Run-D.M.C., whose cover of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” was a smash crossover hit and precursor to an explosion of hip-hop in the mainstream. Profile never existed in the epicenter of the trend, but they did make several major contributions, including signing Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, whose Lyn Collins-sampling “It Takes Two” was a stratospheric success.

With the label having long been sold to Arista, Legacy presents Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology, a double-disc set that collates 31 essential sides served as a time capsule of hip-hop, from its underground roots to its metamorphosis from mainstream to gangsta subgenres. Giant Single is out January 31 and can be previewed after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

January 13, 2012 at 12:17