Def Jam, LL Cool J, Rick Rubin

Just got the book  ‘Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label‘.  I’ve known the author, Bill Adler, since he walked into my studio in 1985 with a young LL Cool J for LL’s first promo shot. The book’s is designed by brilliant art director and artist Cey Adams.

To compare Def Jam to Motown seems right to me – I grew up with Motown it changed my life – just as Def Jam introduced hip-hop, a new kind of music and lifestyle to the 80’s generation.

I remember meeting Lyor Cohen, who started Rush, the management division of Def Jam, in his scrappy office on Broadway back before Def Jam was on Elisabeth St. He was yelling at someone on the phone, smoking a fat cigar, sneaker clad feet on his desk.

Rick Rubin,co-founder of Def Jam, was working with the Beastie Boys when I took this photo for Rolling Stone around that time – I love his style -beyond cool – powder blue puffy coat, sunglasses, holding a drink from Blimpie’s sandwich shop and a gun

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