"See I know how to rap, it's simple but/All I did was read a Russell Simmons book," rapper Swift of D12 admits on "My Band," a back-and-forth with a spotlight-stealing Eminem. And if Swift is looking to move from rapping into writing, photography, printmaking, publishing, and/or business, the new Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years (to which label co-founder Simmons has contributed a brief preface) would be a good place to start. Tonight, Simmons joins Rick Rubin, the other half of the original Def Jam team, for a conversation about the label's history, impact, and, perhaps, wise decision not to sign D12.
Fri., Oct. 14, 7 p.m., 2011

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