|Parent company||Sony Music Entertainment|
|Country of origin||United States|
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 and Profile Records was born. Their tiny office opened at 250 West 57th street in NYC on May 1, 1981. Contrary to the Urban myth that has existed for decades, Robbins and Plotnicki did not buy Profile Records from MCA Records, nor was it the child of any other label. The label started as and remained an independent company created by Robbins and Plotnicki.
With the success of "Genius Rap" by Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, they escaped financial ruin by a mere $2,000. 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, licensed to Virgin Records in the U.K. 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 to name a few.
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.
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."
Profile was acquired by Arista Records in 1998, and its catalogue and artists were transferred to Arista. Sony Music Entertainment (the current owner of Arista) 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..