We can’t pay homage to Old School hip hop without mentioning the role played by Def Jam. Started by Rick Rubin in his NYU dorm (1984), and later joined by Russell Simmons, Def Jam quickly signed names like Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, EPMD and the list goes on. Issues concerning money, corruption, and personal disputes have befallen Def Jam throughout the years, but their early influence on hip hop cannot be ignored.

Below are two vids that bring it back to the early days. Enjoy.

Public Enemy – Don’t believe the hype

EPMD – The big payback

Note: I keep remembering kids in first grade screaming “Mama said knock you out.” Couldn’t leave it out. Ha.

LL Cool J – Mama said knock you out