Def Jam Recordings was founded by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons in New York City during the early 1980s, releasing its first album, LL Cool J's Radio in 1985. The label made a name for itself in only a few years, releasing the Beastie Boy's Licensed to Ill and albums by Public Enemy and Slick Rick. Jay-Z was picked up by Def Jam in the late 1990s and would eventually become its president. It currently represents a variety of artists in the hip-hop community including Kanye West, Rick Ross, Ghostface Killah, Big Boi, Jay-Z, and Rihanna.
Rizzoli's publication of Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label was published in September 2011. It celebrates and documents the evolution of the record label through various photographs and personal stories. It was written by Bill Adler and Dan Charnas in partnership with Def Jam's founders.
Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label is featured in Edition: Rizzoli: New York