It's hard to believe it has been thirty years since Def Jam Recordings was formed by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons.
Rubin formed the company in his dorm room at New York University in 1984 and was soon joined by Simmons. Their first single, T. La Rock and Jazzy Jay's It's Yours was soon followed by LL Cool J's I Need a Beat and the Beastie Boys Rock Hard.
Over the years, the label has become one of the centers of Hip Hop and Urban music, recording such artists as Public Enemy, Warren G, Nas, Method Man, Kanye West, Rihanna, Ludacris, the Roots, Rick Ross and one of it's few rock acts, Slayer. Along with Rubin and Simmons, the label has also been run by Jay Z and L.A. Reid.
Rubin and Simmons released a statement, saying "It's hard to believe it was 30 years ago when we first put the Def Jam logo on a hip-hop recording at an NYU dormitory. Since that time we have seen this homegrown American music grow from a local underground scene to a worldwide phenomenon. Today Def Jam remains the gold standard for taste, culture, and revolutionary thought. To quote the Chuck D line: 'Def Jam tells you who I am…"
Universal Music Group and Def Jam have assembled a #DefJam30 team to work with many of its artists and innovators, from thirty years ago to today, on a number of projects celebrating and re-imagining three decades of credibility and distinction.
That celebration begins this week with the unveiling of the #DefJam30 logo above. Corresponding albums, events, films and more will be revealed in the weeks ahead via social media and the Def Jam 30 website.
More from VVN Music