Drew Dixon’s Vineyard memories are rich with the kind of details a summer kid treasures all winter long: a turret room atop a rambling house on Sea View avenue; free “reject” pastries at what would become Back Door Donuts; meeting teens from other places and hearing new music.

In the summer of 1979, Ms. Dixon was a music-loving 8-year-old when she bought her first rap record — hit single Rapper’s Delight by the Sugarhill Gang — at Shirley’s Hardware in Vineyard Haven.

By the mid-1990s, Ms. Dixon was helping to make hit rap records as an executive at the hugely influential Def Jam label in New York city. Her drive, talent and, above all, her musical judgment stood out in the music industry field known as A&R, for artists and repertoire.

“I really liked to pick the next big thing,” Ms. Dixon told the Gazette Saturday afternoon, during an interview at a friend’s Edgartown home overlooking the lighthouse, outer harbor and Chappaquiddick.

In the mid-1990s, Ms. Dixon was helping to make hit rap records as an executive at Def Jam. — Jeanna Shepard

Working with stars like Redman, Method Man and Mary J. Blige, her job at Def Jam was a dream come true for the Stanford graduate, and she was good at it.

But Ms. Dixon’s boss, company co-founder Russell Simmons, wanted more from her than chart-topping records, as she recounts in a new documentary, On the Record. In the film she describes a pattern of sexual harassment that she at first tried to shrug off, telling herself a businessman like Mr. Simmons wouldn’t want to squander a valuable executive.

The movie was shown last week as part of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival’s drive-in movie series.

“This is full circle for me.” Ms. Dixon told the audience at the July 29 screening, speaking from the bed of a pickup truck behind the ice arena.

Directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, On the Record has a number of executive producers with their own ties to Martha’s Vineyard. They are members of a company called Impact Partners, which funds in-depth documentaries that have included Spaceship Earth, about the Biosphere 2 experiment in Arizona, and Athlete A, about the sexual abuse of gymnasts.

Ms. Dixon grew up in Washington, D.C., where a funkier style called go-go was the dominant urban music. When her mother, Sharon Pratt, was elected mayor of Washington in 1991, Ms. Dixon booked a favorite go-go band for the inauguration party. But on the Vineyard, her interest in hip-hop culture deepened at dance parties deejayed by the late Gary Jenkins at Cottagers’ Corner in Oak Bluffs.

In On the Record, Ms. Dixon’s face glows as she recalls the creative joy of her work, such as pairing Method Man and Ms. Blige in a duet inspired by a 1960s soul hit. Her career also brought her into contact with future superstars like Kanye West and John Legend. And then, while she was still in her 20s, it ended.

The documentary follows multiple threads of testimony from women whose accounts of rape and abuse by Mr. Simmons span the decades from Def Jam’s early success to his hasty resignation from the company last year.

For more than 20 years, Ms. Dixon remained silent about her experiences with Mr. Simmons—even after she left Def Jam for another label and found herself working for another powerful man, producer L.A. Reid, who she said sabotaged her career to punish her for resisting his advances. She chose to leave the industry she loved, rather than speak out against its leaders and be seen as a traitor.

“I just gave up . . . and I was going to take it to my grave,” she said. “And then #MeToo happened.”

On the Record takes the time to trace Ms. Dixon’s emotional journey, as she moves from nameless tipster to the New York Times to agreeing to come forward for the first story about Mr. Simmons’s alleged crimes, then taking part in the documentary and ultimately finding herself a central character in the story.

But while the film has received support, Ms. Dixon said many have been cool to the exposé.

“We’ve become essentially untouchable,” Ms. Dixon said. “I’m actually shocked by the lack of courage from so many people I admired, that I just assumed would see this film . . . because of the way that the film so effectively expands the lens to really tell the story of black women going back 400 years, and how this is such a critical opportunity that we may not get again for the foreseeable future,” she said.

“The way we have been left twisting in the wind by black leaders who one would think could very easily extend a hand to us and would not . . . the chilling effect that might be having on younger people who I hope could be saved so we wouldn’t lose another generation to this kind of trauma — I really worry that we’re missing the opportunity to save them,” Ms. Dixon continued.

“It’s a cycle of abuse that not only creates victims, but it creates perpetrators too. That really breaks my heart.”

On the Record is available for streaming on the HBO Max platform.