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The pair had a hit with their first release — "I Need a Beat," by the 16-year-old LL Cool J — enabling Simmons to secure a distribution deal with Columbia: the first deal of its kind for a hip-hop independent with a major label.
For the next four years, Def Jam blazed a trail for hip hop.
In fact, we've seen him schmoozing with Bravolebs on screen quite a bit over the years.
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"Because of the way it sounded and the impact it had on how people heard rap records, I believe co-producing "Sucker MCs" is the single most creative thing I have ever done," Simmons wrote in his autobiography.
On the strength of those two songs, Simmons secured a deal for Run-DMC with the independent label Profile Records.
Simmons hinted to Billboard, many years later in 2016, that there had been creative differences, but also suggested that these had not been insurmountable; it has also been widely reported that Rubin lost a power struggle with Lyor Cohen, who would take his place at Def Jam and become the label's president.
In 1994, Simmons and Cohen sold half of Def Jam to Polygram for million; they sold the rest to Seagram (which by then had bought Polygram) in 1999 for 0 million, according to Rolling Stone.
Run-DMC's self-titled debut album in 1984 became the first rap album to be certified gold.