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Hip Hop Labels: Profile

by Travis on December 11, 2008

Profile Records

Profile Records was at one time one of the premiere hip hop labels in the 80′s, which they can mostly give thanks to Run DMC and their huge (and first) cross over appeal with the release of “Raising Hell”. The label would then go on to be a fairly major player in the hip hop business. Until it’s ultimate demise when Arista purchased the label in 1997, which basically then shut the label down.

There is some controversy about how exactly the label was started. One story has the label being originally known as Panorama Records until Cory Robbins and Steve Plotniki purchased the label from MCA in 1981. Another story has Robbins, who was an intern with MCA, wanting to start a label. He would get Plotniki, a personal friend, and the two would borrow $17,000 from each of their parents to start up Profile from scratch. This was done without the label ever being tied to MCA or being a label with any other name.

The first minor hit the label would release came in the form of the 12 inch “Genius Rap”, by Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde. Anchored by future Uptown Records founder and CEO Andre Harrell, the duo had moderate initial success for Profile in 1981, and enabled the label to see a small profit fairly early on in its existence. The label would get it’s first big break when Russel Simmons sent Robbins and Plotniki a tape of “It’s Like That” by Run DMC. The two would make a wise decision in signing the the three man group and what happened next was nothing short of historical in so many aspects. So much has been said the importance of Run DMC that I’ll just leave it at that. Profile was also the home of many 12 inch releases from fairly obscure early artists such as Pumpkin, Einstien, Too Kool Posse, MC Tee & Lord Tasheem, and a plethora of old legends found their way to Profile as well. Acts such as Fresh 3 MCs, The Masterdon Committee, the Cold Crush Brothers, and even the Afrika Bambaataa founded Time Zone later on called Profile Records home.
As hip hop grew, so did Profile. They would branch out to the west coast, signing such acts as DJ Quik, 2nd II None, and N2 Deep and southern groups such as Potna Deuce. Profile made a name for itself for the quality of music it worked with and the wide variety. In the mid 90′s, fan favorites such as Nine and Camp Lo released arguable classics.

Robbins and Plotniki remained partners until ’95 when Robbins bailed to create Robbins Entertainment, which if I remember right ended in a bit of a tussle between the former owners. The label would remain in business until ’97 when Plotniki decided to sell the label. Arista BMG would acquire the label but ended up dumping most of the artists in the long run.

WYDU Presents: The Profile Collection

I stayed to the classics mainly for this one. Once you start messing with their discography, you realize they are responsible for many classics over the years. I didn’t get too crazy with the Run DMC stuff. Although they are one of my all-time favorites and I still consider THE MOST IMPORTANT group to ever release an album, I figure that everyone should be familiar with their music. I had to really cut this down to get down to the top 20 tracks. I left some groups out such as the Surf MCs, Eerk & Jerk, & JCD & The Dawg LB (sorry Zone). There were some favorites that I had a hard time picking just one track. Quik was one, his first two albums (and arguably more) you could pick a handful of tracks that would represent his best work. Nine was another. I’m probably one of the biggest Nine fans running a blog out here in blogsville, so picking one track from just one of his albums, not to mention both was almost impossible. The Derek B album had numerous jams that I played at nauseam, same with the Twin Hype album and don’t even get me started on the Camp Lo joint. In the end, after compiling this collection and writing up this post, I have to say Profile is one of the greatest labels that doesn’t get its just due.

WYDU Presents: The Profile Collection

01 Nine – Whutcha Want
02 Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock – It Takes Two
03 Camp Lo – Luchini AKA This Is It
04 Special Ed – Neva Go Back
05 Smoothe Da Hustler – Broken Language (featuring Trigger Tha Gambler)
06 Poor Righteous Teachers – Rock Dis Funky Joint
07 2nd II None – Be True To Yourself
08 DJ Quik – Tonite
09 N2 Deep – Back To The Hotel
10 Nemesis – Pusherman
11 Ron C – Funky Lyrics
12 Run DMC – The Ave
13 Crusaders for Real Hip Hop – That’s How It Is
14 Derek B – Bad Young Brother
15 Twin Hype – Do It To The Crowd
16 Sweet Tee – It’s My Beat
17 Dana Dane – This Be The Def Beat
18 Euro-K – She’s A …..
19 LA Star – Swing to the beat
20 King Sun – On the Club Tip

The Profile Singles Collection

Admittedly I don’t have everything Profile has ever put out, far from it actually. This is just a few of the lead tracks from some of their 12 inch releases. It’s not tagged, nor is it numbered in any particular order. If you want the full 12 inch release, I might have it, I might not, feel free to ask about it.

The Masterdon Committee – Funkbox 2
Cold Crush Brothers – Fresh, Wild, Fly, and Bold
Disco 4 – We’re At The Party
Fresh 3 MCs – Fresh
Joint Ventures – Itz Da Joint
Kartoon Krew – Inspector Gadget
Kool Kyle & Billy Bill – The Old School
MC Tee & Lord Tasheem – Gangster Nine
Onyx – Ah, And We Do It Like This
Rock Master Scott & The Dynamic 3 – It’s Life (You Gotta Think Twice)
Run DMC – 30 Days
Sypder D – Placin’ The Beat
Sypder D – Rap is Here To Stay
Too Kool Posse – Give ‘Em A Sample

Profile Presents: Rap 1 (Profile Records, 1984)

A1 Run-DMC – Sucker MC’s (3:15)
A2 Fresh 3 MC’s – Fresh (6:15)
A3 Disco Four – School Beats (3:19)
A4 Pumpkin – King Of The Beat (6:10)
B1 Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde – Gettin’ Money (7:40)
B2 Run-DMC – Jam-Master Jay (3:21)
B3 Rammellzee Vs K-Rob – Beat Bop (10:10)

Diggin’ In The Crates Vol 1 – Profile Rap Classics (Thanks to Great Blog!)

01 Sucker M.C.’s (Krush-Groove 1) – Run-D.M.C.
02 King Kut – Word of Mouth/D.J. Cheese
03 Genius Rap – Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde
04 Drag Rap (Triggerman) – The Showboys
05 A Fly Guy – Pebblee-Poo
06 I Can’t Wait (To Rock The Mike) – Spyder D
07 Beat Bop – Rammelzee vs. K-Rob
08 Here Comes That Beat! – Pumpkin and the Profile All-Stars
09 Rock Box – Run-D.M.C.
10 Lifestyles of The Fresh And Fly – M.C. Dollar Bill
11 Fresh – Fresh 3 M.C.’s
12 Nightmares – Dana Dane

Label Roster (partial)
2nd II None
Asher D & Daddy Freddy
Camp Lo
Caveman (The UK Label)
Crusaders For Real Hip Hop
Dana Dane
Derek B
DJ Quik
Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde
Eerk & Jerk
Euro K
JCD & The Dawg LB
Joint Ventures
King Sun
LA Star
N2 Deep
Poor Righteous Teachers
Potna Deuce (Baby Bash Solo)
Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock (Rob Base Solo Also)
Ron C
Smooth Da Hustler
Special Ed
Surf MC’s

Sweet Tee
Time Zone

12 Inch Deals (partial)
The Cold Crush Brothers
Disco 4
Fresh 3 MCs
Kool Kyle & Billy Bill
MC Tee & Lord Tasheem
The Masterdon Comittee
Onyx (yup, that Onyx)
Rock Master Scott & The Dynamic 3
Spyder D
Too Kool Posse

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