Remembering “Rapper’s Delight” producer Sylvia Robinson, who died yesterday.

“He would say something every now and then, like ‘Throw your hands in the air,’ and they’d do it. If he’d said, ‘Jump in the river,’ they’d have done it.” Inspiration struck. “A spirit said to me, ‘Put a concept like that on a record and it will be the biggest thing you ever had.’”

“Hip-Hop Happens.” — Steven Daly, Vanity Fair, 2005

See more #longreads from Vanity Fair