[Bill Adler, former Def Jam exec, author, historian, and Christmas music nut, recently sat down with hip-hop personality and SOHH Correspondent Shawn Setaro on his popular "The Cipher”podcast for their annual Xmas special . Listen to the full interview and check out five gems Bill dropped during the Q&A. You can also stream this year’s edition of Bill’s famed Xmas Jollies mix exclusively at The Cipher’s Soundcloud page.]

On how he shops for Christmas music for his Xmas Jollies mix:

“Finally, there’s just a lifetime of having done this, and I don’t know exactly what goes into my choices. There are a number of factors. I’m going to be liberal about it. If I’m a little dubious about it, I’m going to buy it anyway, because I’m a hopeful type of guy when it comes to this stuff.”

On DJ AJ, former DJ for Kurtis Blow, who passed away earlier this year:

“AJ had a big personality. He had a lot to say, and he had a unique way of saying it. He was just cool as hell.” 

On one of his musical heroes, jazz great Ornette Coleman:

“It was so great to get to know him, because his personality was not what you might imagine if you listen to his music. There’s so much raw emotion expressed in his music. So often, he’s either laughing or crying on the horn. When you meet him, he turns out to be the most soft-spoken guy. He’s almost whispery.”

On Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis,” which Bill helped create: 

“We made ‘Christmas in Hollis’ in 1987, and by then I had already begun making my annual Christmas compilations. I was not just an associate of Run-DMC, but I was a fan of Run-DMC. I thought, ‘Wow, can we make a Christmas record together? Good!’ And I was just so thrilled at the way it turned out.” 

On whether there will be a Russell Simmons bio-pic:

“I’ve started talking to Russell. He wants to make a movie not about Def Jam, but about Rush [M[Management]and he’s talking to me about writing it. That’s pie in the sky – God knows if anything will happen with that.”

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