Def Jam Celebrates 30 Years

It all began in 1984 with the first release of It’s Yours by T La Rock and Jazzy Jay, the Def Jam logo in a New York University dormitory. Now, 30 years later, Def Jam Recordings, the label that sparked life into hip-hops popularity around the world, celebrates its 30th anniversary.

As a part of the occasion Def Jam, in conjunction with Universal Music Group, have released the Def Jam 30th Anniversary Video Collection. The release features tracks from performers like Onyx, Montell Jordan, DMX and Rick Ross. The performers on the tracks—both old and new—span from over 30 years of hip-hop history with Def Jam. Each track was developed to focus, celebrate and re-imagine the credibility and distinction experienced by the label over the last three decades.

This anniversary is a testament to founders Rick Rubin and Russel Simmons’ efforts to bring hip-hop to the mainstream world when music was dominated by 80s hair rock bands and metal. Their combined efforts along with the social retrospective present in hip-hop artists lyrics, led to a revolution of the American grown musical style and pulled it out from the underground scene and made it a worldwide phenomenon.

Just one look at the extensive list of Def Jam artists, and their mega-star status today is proof enough of the labels work and prowess in the hip-hop world. From Nas, LL Cool J, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rick Ross, the Roots and many others, the label is the Godfather of the hip-hop empire.

To see the performers and tracks for the new Def Jam anniversary album go to

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