Def Jam Turns 30 in 2014
The music label that brought the world the likes of Kanye West, Rihanna and Ludacris is turning 30 years old.
Founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons (brother of Rev. Run) created the company in Rubin’s dorm room at New York University back in 1984. Their first single release, ‘It’s Yours’ by Jazzy Jay and T. La Rock was followed by LL Cool J’s ‘I Need A Beat’ and ‘Rock Hard’ by the Beastie Boys in 1985.
Throughout three decades, Def Jam has become the focal point for new and emerging Urban and Hip Hop talent. Artists such as Method Man, Nas, Rick Ross and Public Enemy have all recorded with the label. It was when Jay Z guest-ran the label that he scouted Rihanna back in 2005 when she was just 17.
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.'"
To celebrate this milestone in the label’s history, Def Jam will be working on a number of projects including many of its artists from both past and present. The unveiling of the #DefJam30 logo (pictured below) kicks of the events, with films, music and more to be revealed via the Def Jam 30 website.