Def Jam Records (1984- )

Def Jam Records, created by hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons, is one of the most successful black-owned record labels in the history of the United States.  Its success and influence on music and popular culture are paralleled only by Motown Records in the 1960s and 1970s. … Read MoreDef Jam Records (1984- )

Sean “Diddy” Combs (1970- )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Born November 4, 1970 in Harlem, New York, Sean “Diddy” Combs is a multi-platinum selling producer, rapper, and successful record company executive. Combs was raised in Harlem, where his father was killed when Combs was three.  His mother moved the family … Read MoreSean “Diddy” Combs (1970- )

Afrika Bambaataa (1957- )

  Image Ownership: Public Domain One of hip-hop culture’s most influential pioneers, Afrika Bambaataa was the first to articulate an ideology for the emerging youth culture, using the music to illustrate hip-hop’s expansive potential as a global movement. As a DJ and recording artist, Bambaataa … Read MoreAfrika Bambaataa (1957- )

Grandmaster Flash/Joseph Saddler (1958 – )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Although he will more than likely be remembered best for releasing “The Message,” the first rap song to delve into social commentary about the plight of African Americans in the inner-city, Grandmaster Flash was also the original technological virtuoso of the … Read MoreGrandmaster Flash/Joseph Saddler (1958 – )