Sugar Hill Studios Burns Down

A fire destroyed legendary Sugar Hill Studios

in New Jersey yesterday morning. The studio, which was home to many rap artists

over the years, is believed to have recorded one of the first rap albums in

history, by the Sugar Hill Gang almost 23 years ago, as well as recording influential

records by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Trouble Funk and others.

Firefighters responded to smoke at the studio

around 2 a.m. (EST). The building burned toxic gases, which prevented the fire

fighters from putting it out effectively.

"It's really a shame," Jam Master Jay

told "I even lost a completely mixed album in the fire.

It's gone!"

Sugar Hill was founded by longtime music industry

staple Sylvia Robinson, who launched her career as "Little Sylvia"

in 1957 with her smash hit, "Love Is Strange," as half of the singing

duo Mickey And Sylvia. Sylvia returned to the charts in 1973 when she released

the hit "Pillow Talk."

She is taking it very bad," Leland Robinson

said of his mother Friday to reporters. Sylvia and Joseph Robinson opened Sugar

Hill Studios in the 70's and released the first successes by soul group The

Moments, who released their classic soul song, "Love On A Two Way Street."

"I just stood there and watched 30 or 40

years of my life go by,'' said Goodman, a member the Moments, as well as the

singing group Ray, Goodman, and Brown. Goodman said that he may have lost almost

$500,000 worth of recordings in the fire."

The cause of the fire was not determined and

the fire is being investigated by New Jersey's arson squad, which is standard