NEW YORK — Bigger than an individual, bigger than a group and overshadowing any crew, Def Jam Records celebrated its 25th anniversary Saturday night at the M2 Ultra Lounge.
The historic label's acts such as [artist id="1237281"]Juelz Santana[/artist], [artist id="3098676"]NeYo[/artist], [artist id="1164800"]Fabolous[/artist] and singer Adrienne Bailon, as well as celebs such as Claudia Jordan, Zab Judah, Melody Thornton, Malinda Williams, Polow Da Don, Eva Pigford, Ice-T and wife Coco came out for the party.
DJ Cassidy started off the night spinning nothing but the hits from Def Jam's catalog: Onyx's "Slam," LL Cool J's "Jingling Baby," DMX's "Get at Me Dog," Jay-Z's "Can I Get A ..." and others. If you didn't already appreciate Def Jam for its trailblazing history and unprecedented longevity, you had to respect its consistent output of hits and stars.
Ice-T seemed especially to love Cassidy's brief EPMD set, standing at his VIP table while Coco and his daughter, Letesha, danced.
The night's nostalgia could be heard in the music and the conversation, as some debated over which rapper was the best at their peak, Jay-Z or LL Cool J, and over which EPMD album was the best. As the night progressed, the dancing got heavier and Cassidy began spinning records outside of the Def Jam umbrella, such as Diddy's "All About the Benjamins" and Jay-Z's "D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune)" and "Run This Town" (Jay's post-Def Jam releases).
As you can imagine, Saturday night was buzzing with events building up to Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards. Jay-Z's new artist, J. Cole, had a concert at NYU earlier in the night, and MTV Jams' Buttahman threw a birthday party that was attended by industry execs, Power 105.1's Ed Lover and rapper Kia Shine, among others.
Watch the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards Preshow this Sunday, September 13, at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the big event, live at 9 p.m. Check out our interactive map of New York to see how the city is celebrating the VMAs all week long, and stay tuned for party coverage, concert reports, behind-the-scenes updates and more.