Universal Music Group will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of Def Jam Recordings, the label credited with spreading rap music from an underground phenomenon to a worldwide movement, all year long along with Def Jam founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons.
Coming out this March will be four reissues, including T La Rock/Jazzy Jay – It’s Yours (12” reissue) March 3, Public Enemy – Icon (1CD version) March 11, Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak (2LP/CD reissue) –March 18, and Ludacris – Back For The First Time (3D Lenticular Cover) – March 25.
Hip-hop – and its most definitive voice, Def Jam – has been an astonishingly tireless engine of change in American and global culture. For 30 years, the greatest names in the history of hip-hop – from LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys to Rihanna and Kanye West, from Public Enemy to Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Jeezy, Ludacris, The Roots, Nas and dozens more – have made Def Jam Recordings the ultimate destination for urban artists around the world.
T La Rock/Jazzy Jay – It’s Yours (12” reissue) – 3/3/14An early member of Afrika Bambaataa’s Universal Zulu Nation, T La Rock was a protégé of Bambaataa as well as his older cousin, Kool DJ Red Alert. After years of DJing, breaking and emceeing locally in The Bronx, T finally decided to take the next step and begin his recording career.
The result was a song that would prove to be one of the most influential records of all time. “It’s Yours” was a collaboration that Rick Rubin put out a few months before joining forces with Russell Simmons, and it was the first single to feature a Def Jam logo. The influence of the single has been incredible. It has been sampled by a plethora of artists, including Public Enemy, Nas, Beastie Boys, Outkast, Fatboy Slim, Raekwon, LL Cool J, NWA, Beck, Redman and many others. In celebration of Def Jam’s 30th anniversary UMe will be reissuing this out of print single back on vinyl.
Public Enemy – Icon (1CD version) – 3/11/14Public Enemy’s 20-year career has had a monumental impact on the music world. Robert Patton-Spruill’s Welcome to the Terrordome chronicles their legacy, their history and what icons of the music world say about their influence. Two decades later, the most controversial rap group of the ‘80s is all grown up… and still touring. In celebration of Def Jam’s 30th Anniversary UMe will be releasing a new greatest hits title featuring Public Enemy’s biggest hits.
Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak (2LP/CD reissue) – 3/18/14The twenty one time Grammy Award winning rapper/producer embarked on a new musical journey with his fourth studio album “808s & Heartbreak”. This highly anticipated 2008 album features the heart pounding single, ‘Love Lockdown’, which premiered live for the first time on the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. In celebration of Def Jam’s 30th anniversary, UMe is reactivating the 808s & Heartbreak Collector’s Set which includes 2 full length vinyl LPs the full length CD, a double sided poster and lyric sheet.
EXT)Ludacris – Back For The First Time (3D Lenticular Cover) – 3/25/14Back for the First Time is the debut studio album from three-time Grammy winner Ludacris. The album features UGK, Foxy Brown, and Pastor Troy. In celebration of Def Jam’s 30th Anniversary UMe will be reissuing this classic debut album back on vinyl and giving the cover a 3D lenticular treatment. A must have for any Hip-Hop fan.
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