Heavy hitters Rick Rubin, Russell Simmons, Kevin Liles and Lyor Cohen built one of hip-hop's largest empires with Def Jam Records. In celebration of the famed record label's 25th anniversary, XXL dedicated the entire November 2009 issue to the company responsible for the success of some of our favorite rap stars.

On the cover we feature Rick Ross, Ghostface Killah, Redman, Method Man, Scarface, Questlove, Juelz Santana, Fabolous, Onyx, EPMD and Warren G, who all share their most treasured Def Jam memories with us. We also spoke to the four men behind the label, created a timeline of Def Jam's more pivotal moments, and compiled a list of their entire rap discography. Click the image below to read the original articles View Moment, Coming of Age, Foundation and Long Player from XXL magazine’s November 2009 issue.

Check out more from Fabolous and our other cover artists at XXL's 20th anniversary hub below.