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25 years of Def Jam on MTV

By unknown | Mar 18, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

MTV base flighting on DStv's Channel 322 is going to celebrate and highlight Def Jam Records' 25th anniversary.

The celebrations will pay tribute to the most influential hip hop label of all time in a special series this month and in April. Going back to their campus days, it was founded in a university dorm room by rock head Rick Rubin in 1984.

He was later joined by Russell Simmons and Def Jam subsequently introduced the world to hip hop through acts such as LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, EPMD and legendary Run DMC.

The early 1990s saw a new era with a new president, Lyor Cohen, and some involvement from Polygram and a step into the G Funk scene with Warren G's classic Regulate with NateDogg. And 1997 saw the arrival of the one and only Jay-Z. This was also around the time the giant Def Soul Records came to the fore. That's when sleek players such as Dru Hill and Sisqo, Christina Milian, Montel Jordan and 112 arrived.

Spin-off label Murder Inc Records run by former Def Jam executive Irv Gotti produced another memorable era of artists including Ja Rule, Ashanti and Lloyd. It was before the next subsidiary that Def Jam South focused on the likes of Ludacris, Chingy and the soulful Bobby Valentino.

Twenty-five years later, Def Jam artists are still on top. Diversity and quality are their middle name, thanks to among others, producers Kanye West, Caribbean Queen Rihanna, singer and songwriter Ne-Yo and Rick Ross.

MTV base has compiled a special night of programming and music to remind you of Run DMC's rise to fame. We kick off with some classic episodes of Run's House Rev . Run talks us through his Top 40 Hip Hop Anthems and we look back at the best of Run DMC with Run DMC Top 5

MTV base: Making the Band 4will be shown on April 9 at 9pm. MTV base: 50 Cent, The Money and the Power will be shown on April 9 at 10pm and MTV base: Run DMC Night is on April 4 at 6pm.


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