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1. In 1985, to celebrate Def Jam's distribution deal with the biggest record label in the world, CBS, Def Jam threw a party catered entirely with White Castle hamburgers. The party was thrown on the roof of the legendary New York nightclub, Danceteria. Corporate executives like Walter Yetnikoff rubbed shoulders with young street kids, ultimately finding themselves in the middle of a White Castle food fight.

2. With a full-time staff of only seven people, Def Jam put out three multi-platinum albums in two years: LL Cool J's Radio, the Beastie Boys' Licensed To Ill and Public Enemy's Yo! Bum Rush The Show.

3. During her Virgin Tour in 1985, Madonna refused to be photographed with her opening act, the Beastie Boys. Four years later, on the set of Do The Right Thing, the lovable Danny Aiello refused to be photographed with Chuck D. of Public Enemy after fellow group member Professor Griff uttered the infamous words, "Jews are responsible for the majority of wickedness in the world" in a national newspaper.

4. In 1993, Def Jam considered signing solo deals with two rappers from a large Staten Island collective known as the Wu-Tang Clan. Their names were Old Dirty Bastard and Method Man. In courting the rappers, a Def Jam A&R rep named Tracey Waples took numerous trips to the dangerous neighborhood of Staten Island where Method Man and Old Dirty Bastard lived. Ultimately, Def Jam signed only Method Man. But in 2003, Old Dirty Bastard was offered a deal with an imprint of Def Jam, Roc-a-Fella Records.

5. A-list movie director Brett Ratner got his start directing videos for Def Jam in the early '90s. He was once accused by Lyor Cohen of putting Def Jam out of business because Cohen didn't like how Ratner directed Eric Sermon's "So Real" video. Steve Carr, director of such Eddie Murphy blockbusters as Dr. Doolittle 2, co-founded Def Jam's art department in 1989, with no formal graphic design training.

6. For Public Enemy's Fear of A Black Planet cover, Def Jam's art department wanted to hire a NASA illustrator to paint an intergalactic scene. The illustrator refused the job, saying that Def Jam's ideas were not scientifically sound. He eventually relented, however, and created one of the most memorable hip hop covers of all time.

7. Russell Simmons was so passionate about R&B music in the late '80s than he established Def Jam's first imprint, called Original Black Recordings (OBR), dedicated entirely to R&B music. None of the artists on OBR-including Alyson Williams, the Black Flames, Newkirk, and Tashan-produced big hits. Rick Rubin's passion for hard rock also did not yield any success stories for Def Jam. He signed Def Jam's first and last metal group, Slayer, but they were ultimately rejected by CBS, the parent company.

8. In an attempt to diversify the Def Jam brand, Lyor Cohen and Russell Simmons established an umbrella label which they called Rush Associated Labels in 1990. The Def Jam logowas practically swallowed by the dozens of imprints that were created under RAL, and vanished from most album covers and company stationary. The Def Jam logo would not reappear in its original form until 1995. One of RAL's biggest misses was an imprint called Dew Doo Man, which was headed by De La Soul producer Prince Paul.

9. Rick Rubin had discovered LL Cool J and produced his debut album on Def Jam, Radio, but he had nothing to do with LL's biggest hit in the '80s, "I Need Love." The song was the brainchild of two unknown producers from LA called The L.A. Posse.

10. Chuck D. gave exposure to Rick Rubin before Rubin exposed Chuck D. to the world. Before they ever met, Chuck frequently played "It's Yours," the first hip hop that Rubin produced in 1984, on his Long Island-based radio show.

11. In the late '80s, Def Jam developed a 1-900 line for their artists, including Slick Rick and LL Cool J. Money from the phone line was coming in so rapidly and was so mismanaged that checks were often found lying on the office floor.

12. When it came time to design the cover for the Less Than Zero soundtrack, which Rick Rubin produced and Def Jam was putting out in late 1987, Rubin wanted no reference to the film on the cover. As a result, the first printing of the soundtrack used a different image than the film's poster and did not mention the film title at all. This was the first time that the studio behind the film, Fox, deviated from its PR campaign.

13. Def Jam was always a close-knit, family-style operation, especially in the 1980s. But not all the artists got along. Slick Rick had a conflict with Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC that almost escalated to a fist-fight during one tour, while the Beastie Boys and 3rd Bass openly dissed each other on their records.

14. In the early '90s, Def Jam's marketing department spent hours calling in video requests to the pay-per-video channel, The Box. Unable to rely on MTV to break Def Jam videos, "jacking the Box" became the best way to expose Def Jam artists to the nation.

15. At their prime, the Beastie Boys had several high-profile projects fall through at the last minute. One was a skateboard deal with the biggest skateboard manufacturer, Visison. The other was a sitcom on MTV called "Scared Stupid". Neither got out of the gate.

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