Along with producer Rick Rubin, Russell Simmons helped create Def Jam Recordings in 1984 and soon established the imprint as a major force in hip-hop music. Simmons used Def Jam as a platform for the early recordings of artists like LL Cool J , Beastie Boys  and Public Enemy .
As Def Jam merged with Island Records under Universal Music Group to form the Island Def Jam Music Group in the 90s, the label contributed to hip-hop culture with music by Nas , Kanye West  and Jay-Z , who became the President and CEO of Def Jam in 2004. Under Antonio "L.A." Reid, Def Jam now features a wide variety of artists including Justin Bieber , Mariah Carey  and the Killers .
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