Monday, April 30, 2007


Walk This Way

King Of Rock & Roll

Once in a rare moment in music history a band comes along and breaks down all barriers. Run D.M.C. was one of those great bands that accomplished a cross over from Hip Hop to Rock. Their music was no holds barred, raw and non apologetic. Everything that a rock and roll band should be. They were easily identified by their on and off stage fashion statements of white Adidas sneakers and black fedora hats.

Run-D.M.C. (or Run DMC) was a major pioneering hip hop group, founded by Joseph "DJ Run" Simmons, Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, and Jason "Jam-Master Jay" Mizell. The group had an enormous impact on the development of hip hop through the 1980s and is credited with breaking hip hop into mainstream music. The three members of Run-D.M.C. grew up in the neighborhood of Hollis in the New York City borough of Queens, USA.

"Run" Simmons is the brother of hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, and entered the hip-hop scene by DJing for his brother's first big act, Kurtis Blow under the name "Run Love". He shared his experiences on stage with Darryl McDaniels, one of his best childhood friends. The pair began performing at an underage club in Hollis, and remained in contact as they went off to college - Run to LaGuardia Community College and Darryl to St. John's University. They soon brought in a third member, Jam Master Jay, and in 1983 released their first single, "It's Like That".

The group soon found its way onto MTV. They became the first rap act to have a music video played on MTV and their self-titled debut album was the first rap album to go gold. They had the first rap album to go to number one on the R&B charts, as well as the first to break into the top ten charts for pop albums.

The band signed a record deal with Profile Records in 1983, and Run's older brother, Russell "rush" Simmons signed Run-D.M.C. to his newly formed management company Rush Productions that same year. On their first major U.S. tour, the group set new trends by performing dressed in tight leather pants and jackets, adidas sneakers (always with shoelaces removed), and Fedora hats.

Their mainstream success continued as the group performed at the famous US Live Aid concert in 1985, and their 1986 album Raising Hell became the highest-selling rap album in history (this record was later broken as rap gained more popularity with artists like Notorious B.I.G), reaching number 6 on the Billboard album charts and selling over 3 million copies. The album featured the above video and famous cover version of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way", a rap-rock collaboration performed with Aerosmith members Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. The song was the first hip-hop track to make the Top 10 on Billboard's singles charts. "Walk This Way" has been attributed to being the first song to make hip hop mainstream due to its frequent airings on MTV.

Run-DMC was renowned for breaking new ground in rap music. "It's Like That" and "Sucker MC's" (1983) were among the first hip hop tracks that relied on electronic beats and nothing else, an approach pioneered by "Godfather of Hip-Hop" Afrika Bambaataa on tracks such as "Planet Rock". Run-DMC became the first rap act with a platinum album and multi-platinum album, as well as the first rappers to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and to receive a Grammy nomination. They were also only the 2nd rap act to appear on American Bandstand, the first being The Sugarhill Gang in 1980. Contrary to popular belief, they were not the first rap act to appear on Saturday Night Live. That distinction belongs to the rap group Funky Four Plus One, who appeared on February 14, 1981. Run-DMC also appeared at WrestleMania V in 1989 to perform the "WrestleMania Rap."

After a period of lackluster commercial success after the Raising Hell album, as well as personal problems and inner turmoil within the Run-D.M.C camp, the group made a comeback in 1993 with their album Down With the King, which made Billboard's Top 10 albums and the Pete Rock assisted single "Down With the King".

Run-DMC also recorded a theme song for WWF wrestling stable D-Generation X entitled "The Kings".

Later career
Crown Royal was released by Run-DMC.
The group's three members began pursuing separate careers after the 1993 comeback, but continued to perform and tour together, including a 2002 summer tour with Kid Rock and Aerosmith.

Sadly, Jam Master Jay was shot and killed by a fellow musician in a recording studio in Queens, New York on October 30, 2002, and the group officially retired from performing shortly thereafter. Aerosmith was one of many bands to pay their respects and contribute to a fund to help find the killer.

Prior to Jay's murder, the group had filmed a Dr Pepper television commercial with protégé LL Cool J. When the commercial aired in the winter of 2002, a dedication to Jam Master Jay was appended to the initial airings of the commercial.

In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked them #48 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Run-D.M.C. was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame ( on Oct 15, 2006.

Run-D.M.C. will be eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
Run-D.M.C. released a live DVD and CD, Live At Montreux 2001 on April 3, 2007
Run-D.M.C. was voted The Greatest Hip Hop group of all time by MTV.


Released:March 27, 1984
Chart positions: #53 US, #14 Top R&B/Hip Hop
Last RIAA certification: Gold
Singles: "It's Like That", "30 Days", "Hard Times", "Rock Box"

King of Rock
Released:January 15, 1985
Chart positions: #52 US, #12 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums,
Last RIAA certification: Platinum
Singles: "King of Rock", "Can You Rock It Like This", "You Talk Too Much"

Raising Hell
Chart positions: #3 US, # 1 Top R&B/ Hip Hop
Last RIAA certification: 3x Platinum
Singles: "Walk This Way", "My Adidas", "It's Tricky", " You Be Illin"

Tougher Than Leather
Released:May 16, 1988
Chart positions: #9 US, #2 Top R&B/ Hip Hop
Last RIAA certification: 2x Platinum
Singles: "I'm Not Going Out Like That", "Mary, Mary", "Run's House"

Back From Hell
Released:October 16, 1990
Chart positions: #81 US, #16 Top R&B/ Hip Hop
Last RIAA description:
Singles: "Pause", "What It's All About", "Faces", "The Ave."

Down With the King
Released:May 4, 1993
Chart positions: #7 US, #1 Top R&B/ Hip Hop
Last RIAA description: Gold
Singles: "Down With the King", "Ooh Wathcha Gonna Do", "Can I Get It, Yo"

Crown Royal
Released:April 3, 2001
Chart positions: #37 US, #22 Top R&B/ Hip Hop
Last RIAA description:
Singles: "Rock Show", "Let's Stay Together (Together Forever)"

Greatest Hits Albums
Together Forever: Greatest Hits 1983–1991 (1991) (Profile Records)
High Profile: The Original Rhymes (2002) (Profile Records)
Greatest Hits (2002) (Profile Records)
The Best of Run DMC (2003) (Profile Records)
Ultimate Run-D.M.C. (2003) (Profile Records)
Artist Collection: Run DMC (2004) (Arista Records)
Live At Montreux 2001 (2007) (Eagle Records)

External links
The Run-D.M.C. Website

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