Profile Records

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Profile Records
Profile Records.gif
Parent companyNone - independent
Arista Records
Sony BMG Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment
StatusBack-catalog only, by Sony
Distributor(s)Legacy Recordings
GenreHip hop
Country of originUnited States
Official[dead link]

Profile Records is a record label that specialized in urban-oriented music such as hip hop.


In 1980, Cory Robbins, who was 23 at the time and had worked 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, purchased the little used Panorama Records subsidiary from MCA, and Profile Records was born.[citation needed] Their tiny office opened at 250 West 57th street in NYC on May 1, 1981.

With the success of “Genius Rap” by Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, they escaped financial ruin by a mere $2,000.[1] 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,[2] licensed to Virgin Records in the UK. 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 among others.

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 King Sun and hip hop legends Eric B. & Rakim.

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".[citation needed] Robbins signed the group soon after.

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.”[3]

Profile was acquired by Arista Records in 1998, and its catalogue and artists were transferred to Arista.[4] Sony Music Entertainment (owner of Arista since 2004) now manages much of Profile's back catalog and master recordings. Most recordings are currently out of print except for the albums of DJ Quik, Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock and Run-D.M.C.


Hip hop[]



  1. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (1998). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Dance Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 269/70. ISBN 0-7535-0252-6.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco 1974-2003, (Record Research Inc.), p. 46
  3. ^ Yahoo! Message Boards - Run-D.M.C. - The best RUN-DMC Web page Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Bell, Carrie (1998-10-31). "Arista's Profile Buy Widens its Current, Old-School Rosters". Billboard. p. 1. Retrieved 2020-09-03 – via Google Books. Arista's purchase of the Profile Records name, catalog, master recordings, and current artists contracts...
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