FEATURES

  • 44
    Born to be Bad
    A two-year prison sentence could spell doom for an average rapper’s career. It’s a good thing, then, that Lil Boosie is one of a kind.
  • 76
    That’s My Attitude
    After family tragedy and three years away from the music industry, New Orleans elder statesman Juvenile is back and full of optimism.
  • 78
    Can’t Stop Me
    His once-promising partnership with T.I. wasn’t the rebirth he’d expected. Fortunately, B.G. is familiar with adversity. And, as always, he’s got the upper hand.
  • 82
    Boss of All Bosses
    With Young Money under his wing and a new solo album to his name, Cash Money founder and artist Birdman’s executive résumé continues to outshine those of his peers. Bosses, take note.
  • 86 Me ’n’ My
    How do you follow up an abrasive XXL-rated album? If you’re Clipse, you lighten up, even in the face of never-ending label drama.

COVER PACKAGE

  • 48
    Moment
    With the silver anniversary of Def Jam Recordings in minds and hearts, a select group of the label’s talent recalls some of their favorite Def Jam tales.
  • 56
    Coming of Age
    Def Jam’s epic saga is outlined in this detailed time line.
  • 64
    Foundation
    Def Jam’s biggest boardroom players—Russell Simmons, Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles—sit together for the first time ever to reflect on their history. And Rick Rubin reflects on the label’s early days.
  • 70
    Long Player
    XXL assembles Def Jam’s entire rap discography.

DEPARTMENTS

  • 39
    Show & Prove
    Triple C’s, Pill, Rich Kids, Mishon
  • 94
    Eye Candy
    Rosa breaks a sweat.
  • 98
    The Cool
    Nike’s latest line keeps it hood.
  • 109
    X-Rated
    Clipse crack smiles, Ghostface slows it down, and Rakim has a master plan.

PLUS

  • 14
    Editorial
    VS sets ’em straight.
  • 18
    Letters
    Young Jeezy motivated most of y’all.
  • 23
    360
    Kanye apologizes swiftly.
  • 130
    Doin’ Lines
    Kid Cudi