What you need to know

  • Apple Music released a special Def Jam Essentials playlist.
  • The playlist is a celebration of Def Jam's 35th anniversary.
  • The playlist features hits from artists like JAY Z, Kanye West, Nas and Rihanna.

Def Jam Recordings is celebrating its 35th anniversary this week. The record label was established in 1984 and became a fixture in the hip hop music scene through the '80s, '90s and into the new century. In honor of its illustrious history and milestone, Apple Music shared a special Def Jam Essentials playlist.

Here is Apple's official description of the playlist.

First run out of an NYU college dorm room back in the '80s, Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons's record label is hip-hop's most iconic imprint. Golden era classics by Public Enemy, Slick Rick, and the Beastie Boys establishes its reputation, before DMX, JAY Z, and Foxy Brown turned it into a commercial juggernaut. Respect the history.

The 24-song playlist includes some of the biggest hits in music over the past couple of decades. From Rihanna's "Umbrella" to Kanye West's "Gold Digger," the playlist features countless classics.

Looking through the playlist, it's hard to believe Def Jam was responsible for so many hip hop hits.

You can listen to the Def Jam Essentials playlist on Apple Music now.

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