Def Jam Recordings is a record label, focused primarily on hip hop and urban music, owned by Universal Music Group, and operates as a part of The Island Def Jam Music Group. In the UK, the label takes on the name Def Jam UK and is operated through Mercury Music Group, while in Japan, it is Def Jam Japan operating through Universal Sigma Music. Def Jam was created by Rick Rubin in his dorm room in Weinstein Hall at New York University and its first release was a single by his punk-rock group Hose. Russell Simmons joined Rubin shortly after they were introduced to each other by Vincent Gallo. The first single released with a Def Jam Recordings logo was T La Rock & Jazzy Jay's "It's Yours." The first releases with Def Jam Recordings catalog numbers were LL Cool J's "I Need a Beat" and the Beastie Boys' "Rock Hard," both in 1984.
Contributions by The Real One Returns, Xm2631, and Lilwyte.