Rolling Stone recently got together with Rick Rubin for a documentary about the beginnings and roots of Def Jam, one of the industry’s most esteemed labels. Rubin takes us back to his New York University dorm room where it all began in 1984; he discusses everything from taking meetings in his dorm room to LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, and Russell Simmons.
Russell Simmons speaks about his experience with Rick Rubin and their first encounter, “Rick struck me as shocking – Firstly he was white, then he had his drum machine full of hits.” Simmons would end up becoming the co-founder of Def Jam while it was still being run in Rick’s dorm room. The story of 16-year old LL Cool J also unfolds in this doc – J also met at Rubin’s dorm room.
Rubin explains that in 1984, most rap records were over R&B tracks. Real hip-hop in the clubs was nothing close to the R&B records being put out. Essentially, Def Jam was created by Rubin to answer this need for real & underground hip-hop to rise to the surface and get some air (and to make cool music for his homies). Press Play.
Source: Rolling Stone