Def Jam Recordings


New York hip-hop label founded in 1983 by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin. It has since gone on to become one of the most well-known hip-hop labels in the world, along the way making stars of the likes of Public Enemy, L.L. Cool J, The Beastie Boys, Redman, and DMX.
Chairman and CEO from 2022: Tunji Balogun.

See also Def Jam Music Group Inc., Def Jam Recordings Group Inc., Def Jam Recordings Music Group, Def Jam Recordings Music Group Inc., Def Jam 2000.
For counterfeit releases, see Def Jam Recordings (2).

1984: Label founded; releases several 12" singles independently. First release was purchased by Streetwise Records and released with a Def Jam logo (and is not considered part of Def Jam today).
1985: Def Jam Recordings began distribution through Columbia/CBS Records.
1988: CBS Records was purchased by the Sony Corporation.
1991: CBS Records became Sony Music Entertainment.
1994: PolyGram purchased 50% of Sony’s Def Jam holdings and switches distribution companies.
1996: PolyGram purchased an additional 10% of the Def Jam holdings, which made it the parent company.
1999: Universal Music Group was formed through the merger of the MCA and PolyGram families of labels and it subsequently purchased the remaining Def Jam holdings that Sony held. All the Def Jam assets were then spun into Island Def Jam Music Group after merging it with Mercury's pop roster and Island Records.
2004: Universal Music Japan begins using the Def Jam Recordings imprint within its Universal Sigma label division for domestic Japanese releases (operating independently of the Island Def Jam Music Group).
2013: Barry Weiss stepped down as Chairman/CEO of both Island and Def Jam.
2014: Universal Music dissolved The Island Def Jam Music Group. Now re-positioned Def Jam, Island Records and Motown separately as all three solo labels.
2017: Universal Music Japan begins using the Def Jam Recordings imprint within its Virgin Music (4) label division for domestic Japanese releases (operating independently of Def Jam).

Label code: LC 08427 / LC 8427.

Parent Label:Universal Music Group
Sublabels:ARTium Recordings, Def Jam 2000, Def Jam 2000 Vinyl Re-Issues, Def Jam ANZ, Def Jam Classic Albums, Def Jam Indonesia, Def Jam Malaysia, Def Jam Recordings 50 Series One, Def Jam Recordings Finland, Def Jam Recordings Greece, ...
Contact Info:

UMG Headquarters of N.Y.C.
1755 Broadway, Floor #28,
New York, NY 10019

UMG Headquarters of Santa Monica
2220 Colorado Avenue, Floor #5,
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