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AZ and Bridget Kelly talk Def Jam 30th anniversary at Friday Night Lights Party

Rick Ross and DJ Khaled at 7th Annual: Friday Night Lights Super Bowl Party
Rick Ross and DJ Khaled at 7th Annual: Friday Night Lights Super Bowl Party
Cashin Design

The "7th Annual: Friday Night Lights Super Bowl Party" celebrated the 30th anniversary of Def Jam Records and featured celebrity guests, a ton of New Era swag in the VIP area, and a live performance by Def Jam artist Rick Ross with Meek Mill and DJ Khaled! The Hudson Hotel (356 W. 58th St.) hosted nightlife impresarios Barry Mullineaux and Matt Levine’s annual event on January 31st , and the cavernous venue was filled with models, bottles, athletes, and great music. New Era hosted a generous gifting suite with NFL snapbacks, fitted caps, skull caps, applejacks, and fedoras. Music was provided by DJs D-Nice and MICK (fka Mick Boogie), and MillerCoors debuted their newest craft beer, Miller Fortune.

The party was hosted by NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, NFL All-Pro & Pro-Bowlers Dwight Freeney, Cam Jordan, LaMarr Woodley, and Duane Brown. Other notable guests included legendary rapper AZ, Roc Nation singer/songwriter Bridget Kelly, rappers Flo Rida and Gorilla Zoe, Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg and Ebro Darden, Billionaires Row Chairman Will Benson, model Elena Foley, and NFL players Jayson Dimanche and Willie Colon.

Guests spoke to about Def Jam’s influence over the past 30 years: “Def Jam is the pioneering hip-hop label of life,” said Bridget Kelly. “It’s really dope, very New York-based... all the artists that came up in the beginning where from here, and they just paved the way for the rest of us to do something really cool and fun and innovative. I’m just happy to be here celebrating.”

AZ shared a similar sentiment: “Def Jam is hip-hop itself. From Slick Rick to Public Enemy, Def Jam started from the beginning.” He also revealed that he could have been a Def Jam artist: “I love Def Jam; I was supposed to be signed to Def Jam. At the time I was supposed to have signed, I was still going through a transition, so I decided to stay where I was. The transition they were going through, it didn’t happen, so I missed the boat.”

When asked if he was a fan of Def Jam, the New York Jets’ Willie Colon made it very clear: “I’m all the way hip-hop. Def Jam has been the forefront of hip-hop for a long time... I’m very close to [Def Jam EVP] Shawn ‘Pecas’ [Costner]. I’m loving everything that Def Jam’s doing, and I wish them many blessings beyond.”

Check out the slideshow for photos from the event!


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