Rubin & Simmons: Def Jam Immortalized Rap Counterculture
The New York Public Library - Celeste Bartos Forum
Def Jam Recordings is a comprehensive history of the first major hip-hop label. Founded by Russell ‘Rush’ Simmons and Rick Rubin in 1984, the label’s first office was Rubin’s NYU dorm room. Def Jam led the way in transforming hip-hop from a projects-based art form to a popular phenomenon. Def Jam is responsible for launching and sustaining the careers of musicians such as Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Run-DMC, Public Enemy and The Beastie Boys. Both Simmons and Rubin have now left Def Jam to pursue successful careers in and away from music; but their creative legacy remains at the heart of the label's modern-day identity.