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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

Comments

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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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nicko252008
Haha shell toes, I rocked those forever
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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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ttlsmith8100
Say hose 5 times, post this on 2 other tracks and look uder your fav stuffed animal or your fav ithem in your room
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Run -����������� D M C . HIP HOP DON'T STOP.
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Lostucanes
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Every time I here "it's tricky" I think of "white chicks" lol
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You never shut up!!!
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Love this music. Real rap and hip hop
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;)
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I bought the black leather addidas sweat suit and black and white she'll toes miss those days
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Kept rap alive when it was bout to take a dive Hollis Queens Finest
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ka702os
True pioneers.
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conniesuther l a n d
O my s**t all this f**k makes me f**king mad peace of s**t son of a b**ch dam it f**k
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man this is one in my teen
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My class sang one of your songs
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karasumaoji
Love these guys!
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1 say ur crushes name 10 times
2 go to where u can change password in ur phone
3 change password while closing ur eyes and saying ur crushes name
4 immediately close ur phone while saying a day u want to go out with him/her.
5 try to open ur phone.
6 realize u can't because u don't remember the password u put in.
7 get really depressed and try to jailbreak ur phone
8 realize u can't and throw away ur phone because you've been trolled

( ur crush will spill hot coffee on ur lap on the day u chose
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Matter where u at..u hear this beat, you start dancing, and boppin your head.
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It's tricky :-D I love this song
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olsonc23
Love this song
:D
:p
B)
:)
T _ T
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This beat is my recital. I think it's very vital. To rock a rhyme thats right on time, it's tricky tricky tricky here we go! It's tricky to rock a rhyme to rock a rhyme thats right on time, it's tricky!
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I will never forget the day that I met Darryl McDaniels! He's such a down to earth guy to talk too even got him to sign his comic book that he wrote.
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sandrai892
i agree with bcamarata1. i always think of the movie White Chicks when i hear this song. that movie was hilarious!!!
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They remind me, of the BEST years of my whole LIFE....... THE 80's! My daughter makes fun of me and my 80's... I tell her that if it weren't for the 80's, and a LOT of BEER........ . she might NOT even be here right now. She say's "TMI" at that, everytime..!
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The shoes was the first in real,HIP-HOP . No shoes in them- my Adidas - me and my Adidas do the illest things - got blue and BLACK- the ones I like to wear when I rock the mike- my Adidas . This was it back in the day. Thanks Run DMC.
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bcamarata1
This always reminds me of Whit Chicks
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Helpmejump
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olsonc23
Like it awesome pizza ♧
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Need to make a remix
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The. Joint
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frankrosa4
Say I phone five times pick a color then look under ur pillow
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listened to this back in the day
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Its like DAT yall
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It's like that \m/
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Pioneers of Rap/Hip-Hop.
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These guys are the best singers/rapp e r s EVER and will always be FOREVER guys
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El hiphop de ahora mas nunca se igualara al de los 70'-80' y principio de los 90' puertoricans t y l e ! b . b o y cuadrado!
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Pioneros de género real hiphop sii! soy b.boy puertoricans t y l e ! siiii!
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Say iPhone five times pick a color post this five more times and look under your pillow
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If you don't have this them in your catalog then your not hip hop
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The kings of rap
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Takes me back to the movie Lost Boys!! Awesome video and awesome movie. Follow 4 a Follow
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Iggy
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Iffy is bae
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carrielinare s
Say i phone 5 times and post this on two different songs then look under your pillow
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It's f***ing trick it!! @wesome Run-D.M.C. songs! ;)
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