Tiffani Thiessen creates a rustic and flavorful menu for her friends Matt Bomer and Tim De Kay.Her Honey Garlic Salmon smoked on the grill pairs perfectly with her Grilled Vegetable Couscous Salad.

"It was pure elation to make it across the finish line at the Gold Coast.

One of the guys who was a podium finisher at every race hobbled up to me at about the 25km mark where I was leaning on a guard rail because my knee was playing up.

"After each day of running, I had to look at myself and reflect that while my pain will be over, the struggle of others will be far from over after the marathon ends." Chris admits the challenge threw a few curveballs at him, especially when he was hobbled with ITB friction syndrome in the fifth marathon in Hobart.

"I was treated by the physio and did a lot of stretches and took some painkillers, so I was able to go reasonably well at the next one," he said.

D., who brought him Kanye West’s demo) and the guy who bet a small fortune and his reputation on him (Damon Dash). In this list, I give more emphasis to the highest person in the chain of decision makers who had substantial involvement in judgements of quality. So, in cases where work is generally shared, the members of the A&R team will either split the billing or receive a secondary mention. There’s little difference between the folks who made it onto this list and the ones who are bubbling just below it. T to Def Jam; Matt Dike and Mike Ross, founders of Delicious Vinyl; Lenny S, another longtime Roc-A-Fella and Def Jam A&R exec; Eddie O’Laughlin, founder of Next Plateau Records; Wendy Day, founder of the Rap Coalition, who never worked for a label but matched artists to labels in landmark deals; Fred Munao, founder of Select Records; Mark Pitts, longtime Bad Boy and Arista alum; Steve Rifkind, founder of Loud Records; and Bryan Leach of TVT Records and Polo Grounds.

So if this list were, perhaps, 10 longer, we might include folks like: Patrick Moxey, founder of Payday Records; Sha Money XL, president of G Unit and the guy who signed 2 Chainz and Big K. Dan Charnas is the author of The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop (New American Library/Penguin) and the co-author of Def Jam: The First 25 Years of the Last Great record Label (Rizzoli). No longer a provincial concern of just five boroughs, or a turf war between just two coasts, or a stalwart opponent of R&B, hip-hop hosted an unprecedented variety of styles, signatures, and influences. Tribe, Jeru, Busta, Jay Z, Nas, Akinyele, Mobb Deep, and CNN all repped New York.Rick Rubin, who signed and produced Def Jam’s first generation of classic artists, had a bunch of folks around him who brought him demos, cajoled him, and reinforced his instincts.And for every star A&R staffer—like Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua at Roc-A-Fella—there's a guy who hipped him to the artist (No I. The year was prolific enough that picking just the 50 best rap songs of 1996 feels like settling on a puny fraction.