Next month Rizzoli will publish the definitive history of legendary record label Def Jam, starting in the ’80s when it first brought hip hop to the masses.

Written by Bill Adler and Dan Charnas in collaboration with Def Jam founders Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label features tons of photos alongside an oral history of sorts.

Run DMC, the Beastie Boys, Ice-T, LL Cool J (below), Jay-Z and others reminisce about their early days in the biz, alongside tons of incredible photographs.

Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label, new from Rizzoli

The book, designed by celebrated painter, photographer and graphic designer Cey Adams, also features rare artifacts and memorabilia from Def Jam’s archives, including behind-the-scenes snaps, flyers, advertisements, movie posters, album art and magazine covers.

We’ll be bringing you some classic Beasties snaps soon, but to kick off feast your eyes on the godlike, gargantuan Rick Ross and his amazing shades.

The Miami-based Ross is one of the later Def Jam discoveries, having released his first album with the label in 2006, but he’s proudly in the tradition of the in-your-face hip hop greats.

He weighs 300 lbs., drives a cream-colored Rolls-Royce and picked a fight with 50 Cent.

Would you fuck with this guy….?

Available for pre-order on Amazon

LL Cool J (center) with (L to R) DJ Bobcat, E Love and Cut Creator in 1987; click to enlarge; courtesy of Rizzoli

Click to enlarge