Def Jam, Inc. : Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, and the Extraordinary Story of the World's Most Influential Hip-Hop Label

ISBN-10: 034546804X

ISBN-13: 9780345468048

Edition: 2005

Authors: Stacy Gueraseva

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In the early ‘80s, the music industry wrote off hip-hop as a passing fad. Few could or would have predicted that the improvised raps and raw beats busting out of New York City’s urban underclass would one day become a multimillion-dollar business and one of music’s most lucrative genres. Among those few were two visionaries: Russell Simmons, a young black man from Hollis, Queens, and Rick Rubin, a Jewish kid from Long Island. Though the two came from different backgrounds, their all-consuming passion for hip-hop brought them together. Soon they would revolutionize the music industry with their groundbreaking label, Def Jam Records. Def Jam, Inc. traces the company’s incredible rise from the NYU dorm room of nineteen-year-old Rubin (where LL Cool J was discovered on a demo tape) to the powerhouse it is today; from financial struggles and scandals–including The Beastie Boys’s departure from the label and Rubin’s and Simmons’s eventual parting–to revealing anecdotes about artists like Slick Rick, Public Enemy, Foxy Brown, Jay-Z, and DMX. Stacy Gueraseva, former editor in chief of Russell Simmons’s magazine, Oneworld, had access to the biggest players on the scene, and brings you real conversations and a behind-the-scenes look from a decade–and a company–that turned the music world upside down. She takes you back to New York in the ‘80s, when late-night spots such as Danceteria and Nell’s were burning with young, fresh rappers, and Simmons and Rubin had nothing but a hunch that they were on to something huge. Far more than just a biography of the two men who made it happen, Def Jam, Inc. is a journey into the world of rap itself. Both an intriguing business history as well as a gritty narrative, here is the definitive book on Def Jam–a must read for any fan of hip-hop as well as all popular-culture junkies.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 7/26/2005
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.03" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

Stacy Gueraseva has been writing about music and culture since 1995 for national publications that have included Interview, Vibe and XXL. She is the former editor in chief of Russell Simmons' Oneworld magazine and a juror for the annual Hip-Hop Odyssey (H2O) film festival. Ms. Gueraseva graduated from Smith College with a bachelor's degree in American Studies. A native of Moscow, Russia, she currently lives in Brooklyn. You can visit her online at

Introductionp. ix
Prologuep. xv
Debut, 1982-87p. 1
The Maverickp. 3
The Visionaryp. 14
Coming Togetherp. 26
Dorm Room to Boardroomp. 46
(Dysfunctional) Familyp. 72
Invinciblep. 98
Growing Pains, 1988-93p. 129
Together Forever?p. 131
Rush Communicationsp. 154
Damage Controlp. 170
RALp. 182
Hard-Corep. 200
Fast Company, 1994-2004p. 221
The Lyor Showp. 223
Sexy Againp. 256
Starting Overp. 276
Notes and Sourcesp. 291
Def Jam Recordings, U.S. Discographyp. 299
Acknowledgmentsp. 317
Indexp. 319
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.
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