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In the pantheon of American and world music history, one record label will forever be known as king: Def Jam Records. Founded by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, this record label is responsible for your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. 

In this exclusive video, Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons talks about how he met his partner Rick Rubin.

The video is in support of the book “Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label”, about the storied history of this legendary label responsible for acts like RUN-DMC, The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Redman, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Kanye West, Public Enemy and dozens of acts who propelled American youth culture on the global stage.

At over 300+ pages, this hard cover tome, designed by Cey Adams, Def Jam’s seminal graphic designer and written by Bill Adler, the label’s legendary publicist, features photography by Jonathan Mannion, Annie Leibovitz and Glen E. Friedman, to list three photographers associated with the label.

There’s also behind-the-scenes photos, flyers, advertisements, movie posters, album cover art, magazine covers and press clips from around the world.

Enjoy the video and cop the book here.