Rick Rubin and Zane Lowe Discuss The History Of Def Jam

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By: Mikey Fresh / June 24, 2014

Zane Lowe recently completed another thorough interview with a hip-hop legend. For his latest sit-down, the host from across the pond spoke to the incomparable Rick Rubin.

When asked about the Def Jam logo, which Rubin designed, Rubin revealed that he didn’t know that the Def Jam logo would still be relevant today. “I had no idea. I mean, I thought in terms of I like iconic logos. And, I wanted to make something beautiful, but I never thought anyone would ever see it. Ever,” Rubin said. “And, the same with the records we made in the early days. We didn’t make them thinking this is going to change the world or ‘I can’t wait for everybody to hear it.’ It was more like, ‘I know my friends will like this. And, if 500 people like this, that’s great. If we can sale enough of these to get to get to make another one then we succeeded,’ Rubin said.

Before Rubin and Simmons moved the Def Jam office to money making Manhattan, the budding music company was operated from a college dorm. “Def Jam was in the dorm room for at least eighteen months. My dorm room was stacked with records and a P.A. system, a DJ setup. It was ridiculous,” Rubin recalled.

Rubin also discussed how frustrating and confusing success was for him and Simmons because of their inexperience in the music business and much more.