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Rick Rubin founded Def Jam Records in his NYU dorm room

In 1984, Rick Rubin founded Def Jam records in his New York University dorm room. The first record Def Jam released was T La Rock and Jazzy Jay’s It’s Yours, which was produced by Rick Rubin. Jazzy Jay introduced Rick Rubin to Russell Simmons, a manager and promoter at the time. Rick and Russell became partners and Def Jam released “I Need a Beat” by LL Cool J.

Early Def Jam imprints had Rick Rubin’s college dorm “5 University Pl. #712” listed as the label’s address. Def Jam Records launched the careers of the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and many more hip-hop artists.

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In a mini-documentary with Rollin Stone, Rick Rubin visited #712 Weinstein at New York University, his dorm where Def Jam Records started. The documentary features Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys’ Adam Horowitz, former Def Jam president Lyor Cohen and some of Rick Rubin’s former roommates.

I can’t believe it’s 30 years, It’s really trippy. It doesn’t feel like that long. I’ll say I don’t normally look back very much, but when I come here, I think of the crazy parties that we had, being threatened to be kicked out for noise complaints, the adventures. Rick Rubin.