T La Rock

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The Lyrical King
T La Rock

T La Rock was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx.  A former break dancer, he is the older brother of fellow old-school MC Special K of the Treacherous Three. T La Rock has been a part of hip hop since its birth, having been a DJ and emcee since the early 1970s.

In 1984, Rick Rubin released “It’s Yours” 12-inch single which was the very first release on Def Jam Recordings. Although some might argue that LL Cool J’s “I Need a Beat” 12-inch single was the first, this is not exactly true. The “It’s Yours” recording was something that Rick Rubin put out a few months before joining forces with Russell Simmons. The song was the first single to feature a Def Jam logo, but it was released through producer Arthur Baker’s independent label Partytime, which was the hip hop division of his dance music label Streetwise Records. The recording was never part of Def Jam’s collection of master recordings.

The influence of T La Rock’s “It’s Yours” is monumental. The song was sampled by countless artists, including hip-hop group Public Enemy in “Louder than a Bomb” from its 1988 release It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back; Nas in “The World is Yours” from his seminal1994 album Illmatic; by many sample-based house-music tracks by Todd Terry. The song was later in the soundtrack of the video gameGrand Theft Auto IV, on the old school hip hop radio station the Classics 104.1. It was also used by the Beastie Boys on its song “Paul Revere” off the famous 1986 album Licensed to Ill, an album also produced by Rick Rubin and released on Def Jam Recordings. Southern emcee Mystikal did a remake of “It’s Yours” on his 1997 album Unpredictable. The song sampled the original drums and had a similar hook, but it had a southern twist to it as it was titled “It Yearns.”




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Def Jam 30

Since 1984: T La Rock - "It's Yours"

Today is a very special day in Def Jam History. In fact, it might thee most important day in all of Def Jam History. January 28th, marks the release of Def Jam’s first Rap record back in 1984. 30 years ago to the date it all started! T La Rock and Jazzy Jay released “It’s…

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