A/V Room









Def Jam Vinyl Re-issues Campaign

Review: Jack Foley

UNIVERSAL Music Catalogue are re-pressing and re-issuing a series of classic LPs and 12” singles from Def Jam, one of the most groundbreaking and inspired hip hop and urban music labels of a generation.

Drawing on its huge catalogue created in the 21 years since its humble beginnings in a student dorm room, this series of re-issues collects old school classics by the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and LL Cool J along with more recent cuts from Ja Rule, Ludacris and Sisqo along with forgotten gems from Memphis Bleek, DMX and Slick Rick.

Through careful research and consultation, Universal Music Catalogue have picked out 17 LPs and 19 12”s from the Def Jam archive (see complete list opposite).

Many have long been unavailable on vinyl and will be welcomed back with open tone-arms by the vinyl community.

Needless to say, there are some absolute gems among the releases, both LP and 12".

First and most obvious is The Beastie Boys' seminal Licence to Ill, a timeless LP that spawned such choice cuts as You Gotta Fight For Your Right (To Party) and No Sleep Til Brooklyn (I can still remember the 'bundles' we had in our sixth form common room at college).

Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back is another gem, delivering such choice cuts as Don't Believe The Hype and Bring The Noise.

While Ja Rule's Pain Is Love gave us one of the all-time great hip-hop party anthems, Livin' It Up.

Not to mention LL Cool J's priceless Rocky V anthem, Mama Said Knock You Out, taken from the album of the same name - it's a raw, ragged hip-hop classic that will probably have you shadow boxing along with it.

Proper vinyl junkies will also want to seek out the 12" - many of which are hard to find.

Several of the best album tracks from the vinyl collection have been dusted off in extended format to beef up any vintage record collection and make them hip again.

If you had the originals, I'll doubt you'll need the re-issues, but at a time when mainstream hip-hop appears to be dominated by the likes of 50 Cent and The Game, it's kinda fun to return to an era when the genre cared to have a little bit more fun.

It's well worth dusting off your wallet to pick up some of the choicest cuts available.


The LP albums

Beastie Boys - Licensed To Ill
(Buy it)

DMX – Its Dark And Hell Is Hot
(Buy it)

EPMD - Business Never Personal
(Buy it)

Foxy Brown – Ill Na Na
(Buy it)

Ja Rule – Pain Is Love
(Buy it)

Ja Rule – Rule 3:36
(Buy it)

LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out
(Buy it)

LL Cool J - Mr Smith
(Buy it)

Ludacris - Back For The First Time
(Buy it)

Method Man - Tical
(Buy it)

ONYX - Backdafucup
(Buy it)

Public Enemy - Yo! Bum Rush The Show
(Buy it)

Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
(Buy it)

Redman - Whut? Thee Album
(Buy it)

Sisqo - Unleash The Dragon
(Buy it)

Slick Rick - The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick
(Buy it)

Warren G - G Funk Era
(Buy it)


The 12” singles

Ashanti - Foolish

Beastie Boys - (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)

Case - Touch Me Tease Me

DMX - Party Up

DMX - Slippin‘

Foxy Brown - I'll Be

Ja Rule - Always On Time

Ja Rule - Between Me And You

Ja Rule - Livin' It Up

LL Cool J - Doin' It

Method Man feat. Mary J Blige –
I'll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By

Method Man & Redman - Da Rockwilder

Memphis Bleek - Is That Your Chick

Montell Jordan - This Is How We Do It

Public Enemy - Don't Believe The Hype

Public Enemy - Fight The Power

Redman - Time 4 Sum Aksion

Slick Rick - Children's Story

Sisqo - Thong Song

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