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The “OFFCIAL” Press Release: VH1 & Def Jam

VH1 Pays Homage to 25 Years of Def Jam Records in Its Sixth Year Celebration of ‘VH1 Hip Hop Honors 2009’

VH1’s Hip Hop Honors 2009 celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Def Jam in a show filled with the stars of this venerable label, as well as funny, painful and inspiring stories from its most renowned creators. Hosting for the third time is “’30 Rock’s” Tracy Morgan. This year, the music, the influence and the artists from Def Jam’s history past and present will be recognized through performances in collaboration with some of today’s hottest talent. Generations of hip hop will bridge the gap for one exceptional night to set it off with the original style and flavor that sparked and inspired the evolution of this now global music phenomenon. Previous celebrations have honored hip hop luminaries who broke new ground and propelled the genre into the true cultural phenomenon that it has become. Last year’s honorees included Cypress Hill, De La Soul, Naughty by Nature, Slick Rick and Too $hort. Additional talent will be announced as it is confirmed.dej-jam-logo1
VH1’s Hip Hop Honors 2009 is the first time that the show has honored a record label. For 25 years, Def Jam created the stars that pushed hip hop culture forward, including LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Kanye West, Slick Rick, Rick Ross and Rihanna. The men behind the scenes are as legendary as its artists, including Rick Rubin, Russell Simmons, LA Reid and Jay Z. The Def Jam brand didn’t just innovate in music, it also launched a breakthrough comedy show (Def Comedy Jam), a dynamic spoken-word showcase (Def Poetry Jam), and set trends in fashion, film and advertising. Def Jam led a cultural movement that changed the world.
“It is impossible to pay tribute to the best in hip hop without recognizing Def Jam Records. Throughout the years VH1 has honored numerous artists from the Def Jam label, but due to the magnificent impact that Def Jam as a company has made on not only hip hop culture but pop culture as a whole, we thought they definitely deserved the opportunity to be honored,” says Lee Rolontz, EVP of Music Production.

The music event will tape from the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, New York, and air on VH1 on Tuesday, October 13 at 9 PM ET/PT.

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Which Old School Did YOU Go To?

The New Old School

by Adam Bernard for Adam’s World

I was having a conversation with DJ Riz of Crooklyn Clan the other day and for a few minutes we got curmudgeonly about Hip-Hop. Like a lot of folks who are reaching, or are already in, their 30’s, we lamented the lack of knowledge younger Hip-Hop fans have of the old school. Riz, however, also brought up the interesting point that teenagers today have their own version of old school and it may surprise a lot of people to see which artists fall under their “oldo-school school” classification. If you’re around my age the list will also make you feel really really old.

I started listening to rap music when I was nine or ten years old. To make this equation easier let’s just say ten. I was ten in 1988, so anything before 1988 is my version of “old school.” It just so happens, because of when I was born, all of that music also falls into the traditional definition of “old school,” as well. With that timetable in mind, let’s take a look at the current incoming college freshman class, most of whom are 18 years old. They were all ten in 1998, so providing they didn’t have older siblings who could introduce them to Hip-Hop earlier in life their version of “old school” starts in the mid to late 90’s.

The idea of Wu-Tang, A Tribe Called Quest, The Fugees, Redman, DMX, Onyx, Naughty By Nature, and even NORE being “old school” is painful to a lot of Hip-Hop fans.

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