was a record label
known as Panorama Records
until Cory Robbins and Steve Plotnicki bought the label from MCA Records
. In 1983
they signed Run-D.M.C.
and became known as a major rap company. In 1995
Plotnicki became the only owner of the label and renamed it to Profile Entertainment
while Robbins left to form Robbins Entertainment
. Plotnicki remained with the label until he decided to sell it in 1997
. After a fierce bidding war between Tommy Boy Records
and BMG's Arista Records
, the latter won, and what was in print at the time was reissued with new BMG catalog numbers. Some new product was released since then, but it was eventually shut down by its new parent and its artists became Arista artists, but were eventually dropped by the label. The entire catalog, save for Run-D.M.C.
and DJ Quik
, is now out-of-print. The offices that it occupied are now those of Koch Records
. Profile Record's reissues continue to be released thru Sony BMG's Legacy Recordings
In 1980, at 23 years old, after working briefly for MCA
, Cory Robbins
was looking 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 NYC on May 1st 1981. Contrary to the Urban myth that has existed for decades, Robbins and Plotnicki did not buy Profile Records from MCA nor was it the child of any other label. Profile started as and remained an independent company created by Robbins and Plotnicki until Plotnicki dissolved it in 1997. Robbins sold his interest to Plotnicki when he left in 1994.
The initial 32k
investment came and went several times before a profit was finally turned a year later. It wasn’t until the success of Genius Rap by Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde did they escape financial ruin by a mere $2,000. From there it was Gidea Park ‘Seasons of Gold’ that brought more commercial and financial success by becoming Profile Records’ first hit to make the Billboard Hot 100. From there, they had consistent commercial success, gold and platinum sales with artists such as Dana Dane, Twin hype, Run DMC, Poor Righteous Teachers, Nemesis and Paul Hardcastle to mention a few.
Profiles’ biggest act was Run D.M.C. who was introduced to Robbins when Russell Simmons sent him a cassette of ‘It’s Like That’. Robbins signed them soon after and a legend was born.
Though Profile rejected a few who went on to fame, they had great success with the artists they did sign. Including over 500 different albums sold; gold and platinum success via dozens of artists. At a time where major labels would not touch acts like these, Profile took chances that paid off big.
West Coast Rap
It was after the success of Young MC and Tone LOC that Profile decided to open the door to the West Coast and Houston rappers which proved yet another lucrative opportunity.
The End of an Era
Thirteen years earlier, as new record label owners, Robbins and Plotnicki used attorneys to sign their talent but decided that a solid handshake was enough for their own partnership which proved to be a problem in later years. 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 left in 1994 and in 1997 Profile as we once knew it, ceased to exist. Consequently, their 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”
Hip hop musicians
Notes & References