All the recent heat around The Beastie Boys has gotten me thinking about Def Jam of old. You can’t talk about the original Def Jam sound without mentioning Rick Rubin. He is the subject of our latest Producer Series playlist.

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Rick Rubin was a purist. He liked BIG thumping 808 drums, hard snares, hard rhymes and not much else on his songs. At the time, when rap was still being recorded mostly over disco and R&B covers, his sound was revolutionary. He was among the first to capture the rawness of the rap that was happening in the parks and the clubs (BTW, if you haven’t read Dan Charnas’ The Big Payback DEFINITELY check it out–it’s one of the best books ever written on hip-hop). If you know Def Jam from the early to mid-80’s, you know what to expect with this: lots of LL Cool J, Run-D.M.C. and, of course, The Beastie Boys.  Just press play, sit back and rock the bells.

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