Rap History Celebrated With Profile Records Rap Anthology
The chronologically-arranged, 31-song double-CD will be available at all physical and digital retail outlets starting January 31, 2012
At the peak of its success and influence during the 1980s and '90s, New York-based indie label Profile Records boasted an artist roster that read like the Who's Who of hip-hop and rap stars from Run-D.M.C., Dana Dane, Special Ed and Rob Base, to DJ Quik, Nine, Poor Righteous Teachers, and Onyx, to name just a few. The Profile logo was a familiar symbol to fans on the street, as the company shipped hundreds of thousands of records every month, billed tens of millions of dollars in its best years, and stacked up more RIAA gold and platinum plaques than they could count.
The writer's admiration for Profile Records is echoed by nearly a dozen hip-hop heavyweights whose tributes appear in the CD booklet. Says Brian Coleman (author of Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies and Rakim Told Me: Hip-Hop Wax Facts, Straight from the Original Artists of the 80's): "There are only a handful of '80s dance and hip-hop labels that a connoisseur could truly depend on for consistent freshness, and Profile ranks near if not at the top of that list. They made bold choices in what artists they signed, never taking the easy road. Don't forget Run-D.M.C. was far from a sure thing in 1983. And there are countless other examples of chances taken and amazing music that never would have had a chance of seeing the light of day without them. If Profile never existed, hip-hop as we know it today would have undeniably been different. They changed the game. How many other labels can say that?"
Coleman is joined by an impressive list of tastemakers who wax rhapsodic and eloquently over their Profile faves and what the label meant to them: radio's DJ Riz (extolling Run-D.M.C.'s "Here We Go"); fellow radio star DJ P Fine (Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock's "It Takes Two"); DJ Rob Swift ("Fresh 3 MC's"); DJ Jazzy Jeff; Freddy Fresh; Lord Finesse; Dante Ross; Peanut Butter Wolf; and of course, Russell Simmons ("They were the best independent company...").
Of course there is much more to the Profile story than "just" Run-D.M.C. Profile began with two young Jewish New York record guys, Cory Robbins and Steve Plotnicki, who were products of the disco 'boom.' By 1979, when the disco 'crash' was looming, they were looking for a new venture and famously borrowed $34k from their folks to start Profile as a 12-inch dance singles operation. Their first two years were uneventful.