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Run-D.M.C.

More than any other hip-hop group, Run-D.M.C. are responsible for the sound and style of the music. As the first hardcore rap outfit, the trio set the sound and style for the next decade of rap. With their spare beats and excursions into heavy metal samples, the trio were tougher and more menacing than their predecessors Grandmaster Flash and Whodini. In the process, they opened the door for both the politicized rap of Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions, as well as the hedonistic gangsta fantasies of N.W.A. At the same time, Run-D.M.C. helped move rap from a singles-oriented genre to an album-oriented one -- they were the first hip-hop artist to construct full-fledged albums, not just collections with two singles and a bunch of filler. By the end of the '80s, Run-D.M.C. had been overtaken by the groups they had spawned, but they continued to perform to a dedicated following well into the '90s.

All three members of Run-D.M.C. were natives of the middle-class New York borough Hollis, Queens. Run (born Joseph Simmons, November 14, 1964) was the brother of Russell Simmons, who formed the hip-hop management company Rush Productions in the early '80s; by the mid-'80s, Russell had formed the pioneering record label Def Jam with Rick Rubin. Russell encouraged his brother Joey and his friend Darryl McDaniels (born May 31, 1964) to form a rap duo. The pair of friends did just that, adopting the names Run and D.M.C., respectively. After they graduated from high school in 1982, the pair enlisted their friend Jason Mizell (born January 21, 1965) to scratch turntables; Mizell adopted the stage name Jam Master Jay.

In 1983, Run-D.M.C. released their first single, "It's Like That"/"Sucker M.C.'s," on Profile Records. The single sounded like no other rap at the time -- it was spare, blunt, and skillful, with hard beats and powerful, literate, daring vocals, where Run and D.M.C.'s vocals overlapped, as they finished each other's lines. It was the first "new school" hip-hop recording. "It's Like That" became a Top 20 R&B hit, as did the group's second single, "Hard Times"/"Jam Master Jay." Two other hit R&B singles followed in early 1984 -- "Rock Box" and "30 Days" -- before the group's eponymous debut appeared.

By the time of their second album, 1985's King of Rock, Run-D.M.C. had become the most popular and influential rappers in America, already spawning a number of imitators. As the King of Rock title suggests, the group were breaking down the barriers between rock & roll and rap, rapping over heavy metal records and thick, dense drum loops. Besides releasing the King of Rock album and scoring the R&B hits "King of Rock," "You Talk Too Much," and "Can You Rock It Like This" in 1985, the group also appeared in the rap movie Krush Groove, which also featured Kurtis Blow, the Beastie Boys, and the Fat Boys.

Run-D.M.C.'s fusion of rock and rap broke into the mainstream with their third album, 1986's Raising Hell. The album was preceded by the Top Ten R&B single "My Adidas," which set the stage for the group's biggest hit single, a cover of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way." Recorded with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, "Walk This Way" was the first hip-hop record to appeal to both rockers and rappers, as evidenced by its peak position of number four on the pop charts. In the wake of the success of "Walk This Way," Raising Hell became the first rap album to reach number one on the R&B charts, to chart in the pop Top Ten, and to go platinum, and Run-D.M.C. were the first rap act to received airplay on MTV -- they were the first rappers to cross over into the pop mainstream. Raising Hell also spawned the hit singles "You Be Illin'" and "It's Tricky."

Run-D.M.C. spent most of 1987 recording Tougher Than Leather, their follow-up to Raising Hell. Tougher Than Leather was accompanied by a movie of the same name. Starring Run-D.M.C., the film was an affectionate parody of '70s blaxploitation films. Although Run-D.M.C. had been at the height of their popularity when they were recording and filming Tougher Than Leather, by the time the project was released, the rap world had changed. Most of the hip-hop audience wanted to hear hardcore political rappers like Public Enemy, not crossover artists like Run-D.M.C. Consequently, the film bombed and the album only went platinum, failing to spawn any significant hit singles.

Two years after Tougher Than Leather, Run-D.M.C. returned with Back From Hell, which became their first album not to go platinum. Following its release, both Run and D.M.C. suffered personal problems as McDaniels suffered a bout of alcoholism and Simmons was accused of rape. After McDaniels sobered up and the charges against Simmons were dismissed, both of the rappers became born-again Christians, touting their religious conversion on the 1993 album Down With the King. Featuring guest appearances and production assistance from artists as diverse as Public Enemy, EPMD, Naughty by Nature, A Tribe Called Quest, Neneh Cherry, Pete Rock, and KRS-One, Down With the King became the comeback Run-D.M.C. needed. The title track became a Top Ten R&B hit and the album went gold, peaking at number 21. Although they were no longer hip-hop innovators, the success of Down With the King proved that Run-D.M.C. were still respected pioneers.

After a long studio hiatus, the trio returned in early 2000 with Crown Royal. The album did little to add to their ailing record sales, but the following promotional efforts saw them join Aerosmith and Kid Rock for a blockbuster performance on MTV. By 2002, the release of two greatest-hits albums prompted a tour with Aerosmith that saw them travel the U.S., always performing "Walk This Way" to transition between their sets. Sadly, only weeks after the end of the tour, Jam Master Jay was senselessly murdered in a studio session in Queens. Only 37 years old, the news of his passing spread quick and hip-hop luminaries like Big Daddy Kane and Funkmaster Flex took the time to pay tribute to him on New York radio stations. Possibly the most visible DJ in the history of hip-hop, his death was truly the end of an era and unfortunately perpetuated the cycle of violence that has haunted the genre since the late '80s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Live At Montreux 2001

1. Intro (Live)

2. It's Like That (Live)

3. It's Tricky (Live)

4. Medley: Rock Box / Sucker Mc's / Freestyle (Live)

5. King Of Rock (Live)

6. Interlude (Live)

7. Mary Mary (Live)

8. Walk This Way (Live)

9. School Of Old (Live)

10. It's Over (Live)

11. Run's Freestyle (Live)

12. Peter Piper (Live)

13. Down With The King (Live)

x

Track List: Down With The King

1. Down With The King

2. Come On Everybody

3. Can I Get It, Yo

4. Hit 'Em Hard

5. To The Maker

6. 3 In The Head

7. Ooh, Whatcha Gonna Do

8. Big Willie

9. Three Little Indians

10. In The House

11. Can I Get A Witness

12. Get Open

13. What's Next

14. Wreck Shop

15. For 10 Years

x

Track List: Back From Hell

1. Sucker D.J.'s

2. The Ave.

3. What's It All About

4. Bob Your Head

5. Faces

6. Kick The Frama Lama Lama

7. Pause

8. Word Is Born

9. Back From Hell

10. Don't Stop

11. Groove To The Sound

12. P Upon A Tree

13. Naughty

14. Livin' In The City

15. Not Just Another Groove

16. Party Time

x

Track List: Tougher Than Leather

1. Run's House

2. Mary, Mary

3. They Call Us Run-D.M.C.

4. Beats To The Rhyme

5. Radio Station

6. Papa Crazy

7. Tougher Than Leather

8. I'm Not Going Out Like That

9. How'd Ya Do It Dee

10. Miss Elaine

11. Soul To Rock And Roll

12. Ragtime

x

Track List: Raising Hell

1. Peter Piper

2. It's Tricky

3. My Adidas

4. Walk This Way

5. Is It Live

6. Perfection

7. Hit It RUN

8. Raising Hell

9. You Be Illin'

10. Dumb Girl

11. Son Of Byford

12. Proud To Be Black

x

Track List: King Of Rock

1. Rock The House

2. King Of Rock

3. You Talk Too Much

4. Jam-Master Jammin'

5. Roots, Rap, Reggae

6. Can You Rock It Like This

7. You're Blind

8. It's Not Funny

9. Daryl And Joe

x

Track List: Run--D.M.C.

1. Hard Times

2. Rock Box

3. Jam-Master Jay

4. Hollis Crew (Krush-Groove 2)

5. Sucker M.C's (Krush -Groove 1)

6. It's Like That

7. Wake Up

8. 30 Days

9. Jay's Game

Comments

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nic.mazzotta
My s**t!
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Run-D.M.C. one of the reasons i got into Rap.
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Blast from the past love it shack my a** ! ! !
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Krush-groove , indeed...
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Don't read this. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Don't stop this is freaky! But if you read this and ignore it you will get bad luck. Put this on 15 songs in 143 minutes. When you are done press the space bar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on the screen. This is so creepy because it actually works
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����
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Walk This Way Yo
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R.I.P. Rev
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This my favorite group of all time
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love dis song soul power hell ya
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khev26
The best Ole Skool rappers hands down! Thank you guys for showing us that rap doesn't have to include violence references and raw language.
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Say Ariana three times
Clap your hands
Post this on two other songs
Check your boice
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Wow.playgrou n d @youtube.... o o h watcha gonna do. :)
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a sucka' tried ta' steaLem' so i caught em' & i fought em !!
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It remindsme of white chicks ��������
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Text..(617)8 2 9 - 3 5 1 2 (fritzchemsh o p @ g m a i l . c o m )
We sell weed strains like white widow,
Og kush,sour diesel,grand d a d d y purps,
afghan kush and Cannabis oil .
Help in pain relief and cancer.
Also got Actavis Cough Syrup and pills .
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LOVE Run, HA trolls with no life \/
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jenbaker86
This is the worst song rver
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jenbaker86
This f**king sucks
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Rip run
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Merry Christmas Run R.I,P.
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I like run dmc music
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Been bouncing around all of Crooklyn since 91,,,,
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Love you run dmc
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Put ur on stuff on ur station when u can
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Love the music in the Brooklyn ENY was the beat in 80 90
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Love it!!!
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kaijewellmil l e r
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will be injured(but you won't die) in two days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. Post this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When you're done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
Report as inappropriate
38th & Mt Vernon....Ph i l l y memories RIP Kenny Krash ...D-Down ...Vince Dawk' ....Lord Boo....
Report as inappropriate
harpers4444
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will be injured(but you won't die) in two days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. Post this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When you're done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
Report as inappropriate
sencegonzale z
I hate you
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Go to high school 1998 year 25
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LOVE the music Brooklyn East N Y was the best year of my life 80 9
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lol white chicks, every time I hear this song...every time...
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Yass!
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lenam6150
��OMG LOVED THEM IN MIDDLE SKOO BUT GRAMA DIDN'T APPROVE OF IT LOL!NORTHN CALI.
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katyperry177
White chicks !
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Kings of Rap!
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jennp8787
I love them so much
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The true king of rock.
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Our own style of ROCK & ROLL.
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charissebell 0 6
Through back



❛________❛
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The BEST Rap Group of all times...I got a pair of Adidas shell top (of course) white on white and have never used them still in the box...
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jclgraham0
Hi
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kristan_060
No doubt
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kings of rap
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No doubt a ground breaking group....RIP Jam Master Jay
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Run -����������� D M C . HIP HOP DON'T STOP.
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Lostucanes
Report as inappropriate
Every time I here "it's tricky" I think of "white chicks" lol
Show more

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