The story of Def Jam’s early years is pretty incredible. If you’re not aware of its humble beginnings, Rolling Stone recently shot a mini-documentary in which Rick Rubin revisited the origins of the label. Founded in Rick Rubin’s dorm room at New York University, the room doubled as Def Jam’s first office. In this Josh Swade-directed documentary, Rubin revisits that very dorm room 30 years on from Def Jam’s inception.
Featuring interviews with Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, and Beastie Boys’ Adam Horovitz in which they talk about the early days of the legendary label, there’s plenty of interesting nuggets of information in the documentary. Stories of huge parties, drum machines stacked all around the room, and shipping vinyl from the dorm’s mailroom all feature in this entertaining look back at Rubin and Def jam’s small beginnings.