The Def Jam label gave America hip hop. But who gave America Def Jam? Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin did.
The Men Behind Def Jam examines the most unlikely history of the legendary label that started life in a student dorm and went on to introduce the world to LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, DMX and Jay-Z. Hustler-incarnate Russell Simmons and ex-punk Rick Rubin, the odd couple, fought and triumphed against all predictions to change the course of popular music forever.
Here is an honest appraisal of these rival personalities, the quarrels, the successes and the failures of the spectacular Def Jam adventure. With Rubin and Simmons now pursuing other interests, the label continues with others at the helm, but the story of Def Jam’s birth and coming of age makes for one of pop music’s most feisty and fascinating legends.
By Alex Ogg