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Russell Simmons (founder of Def Jam Records)

Hip Hop originated in New York during the 1970s, Russell Simmons (GlobalGrind.com) along with wealthy punk rocker Rick Rubin were the first pioneers of the hip hop music genre to create a record label empire; Def Jam records.  Def Jam introduced the world to legendary artists such as RUN DMC, LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys in the 1980s which led to immediate success, turning Def Jam Records into the biggest record label in Hip Hop during this time period.  In today’s world Russell Simmons is more interested in yoga and occupying Wall Street rather than breaking the next big artist.  Therefore the door has opened for new moguls to takeover the throne and create empires for the 2012 generation.   GWOP Magazine staff has put together a list of the top Hip Hop/Rap Record labels for 2012.  Nas said ‘Hip Hop was dead in 2006’, well these labels are destined to prove that the music genre has only suffered a heart attack and there is no need to panic.  Checkout the full list after the jump.

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