The Def Jam Story

Rap music and hip hop style as a whole has broken through from its ghetto roots in New York in the early 80s to become the most popular musical force in the world today.

The Def Jam Story features the label's founders, Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, reflecting on the musical passion that drove an ambitious black business man and a white college student to become the most important architects of 80s hip hop.

Simmons was a local New York club promoter who was managing some of hip hop's earliest stars when he met NYU film student Rick Rubin at New York's famous dance club Danceteria in 1984.

Rubin was a fan of punk bands like Black Flag, the Dead Kennedy's and X.

To him hip hop was just black punk and he enjoyed the excitement generated by early rap stars like Kurtis Blow and Run DMC performing in small underground clubs.

Simmons and Rubin soon discovered that they shared a passion for the truth and power that lay at the root of hip hop's underground appeal and they decided to start a record label together.

The Def Jam label was officially launched in the summer of 1984 with the release of LL Cool J's first single Radio.

Massive success followed as Def Jam helped make international stars out of early pioneers like LL Cool J, Beastie Boys and Public Enemy.

And last month, 22 years after he scored his first Def Jam hit, LL Cool J was back at the top of the charts with his latest hit Control Myself featuring Jennifer Lopez.

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Rap music and hip hop style as a whole has broken through from its ghetto roots in New York in the early 80s to become the most popular musical force in the world today.

The Def Jam Story features the label's founders, Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, reflecting on the musical passion that drove an ambitious black business man and a white college student to become the most important architects of 80s hip hop.

Simmons was a local New York club promoter who was managing some of hip hop's earliest stars when he met NYU film student Rick Rubin at New York's famous dance club Danceteria in 1984.

Rubin was a fan of punk bands like Black Flag, the Dead Kennedy's and X.

To him hip hop was just black punk and he enjoyed the excitement generated by early rap stars like Kurtis Blow and Run DMC performing in small underground clubs.

Simmons and Rubin soon discovered that they shared a passion for the truth and power that lay at the root of hip hop's underground appeal and they decided to start a record label together.

The Def Jam label was officially launched in the summer of 1984 with the release of LL Cool J's first single Radio.

Massive success followed as Def Jam helped make international stars out of early pioneers like LL Cool J, Beastie Boys and Public Enemy.

And last month, 22 years after he scored his first Def Jam hit, LL Cool J was back at the top of the charts with his latest hit Control Myself featuring Jennifer Lopez.