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Def Jam Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

After playing a huge role in making rap marketable to the masses, Def Jam announced that it would be celebrating its 30th anniversary all year long.

Co-founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons have no doubt worked tirelessly to help build a commendable reputation for hip hop music. The label embodies much of rap musics history with the number of names it has brought to the scene, including Rihanna, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Jay Z, Nas, The Roots, and the list goes on.

The label was founded in Rubin’s college dorm room as a student in New York University. In a statement both Rubin and Simmons reflected upon their work:

“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”.

In the year of 1984, the label released its first ever single, T La Tock’s & Jazzy Jay’s “It’s Yours”. Def Jam has not built its legacy without overcoming financial trouble in the early 1990s, battling with mergers, and succeeding with overseas expansion. Def Jam now has established branches in the UK, Germany and Japan.

Today, the label continues to boast an impressive roster which includes some of the most popular sounds that are blessing our airwaves as well as huge upcoming stars, including August Alsina, Big Sean, Jhene Aiko and 2 Chainz.

In celebration of its 30 years, Def Jam and Universal Music Group revealed a new logo and further celebrations are expected in weeks to come through announcements from the Def Jam 30 website.

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