Run-DMC were one of hip-hop’s most beloved crews. Rising to prominence in the 1980s alongside crews such as Public Enemy and The Beastie Boys, Run-DMC were loved for their ability to fuse hip-hop with other genres and were ultimately responsible for crossing hip-hop into the mainstream. Known as the genre’s first mainstream group, Run-DMC were definitely ahead of the curve with their music.
As well as Jam Master Jay and Rev. Run, the trio also included DMC. Raised in the Hollis neighbourhood of Queens, New York, DMC (real name Darryl McDaniels) began his career as a DJ. However, he sold his turntables and mixer after a year. Initially performing under the stage name Easy D he changed his pseudonym to DMcD and later DMC.
Formed in 1983, the trio’s rise to fame commenced during the boom-bap era. Run-DMC’s mainstream commercial success was almost instant when they released their debut single ‘It’s Like That/Sucker MCs’ and continued to grow with their Aerosmith collaboration remaining legendary to this day.
The crew’s first and second albums laid the foundation for artists and crews alike to experiment with hip-hop more and break free of the creative restrictions the genre’s purists placed upon artists. RUN DMC, the group’s debut album, was executively produced by Def Jam founder Russell Simmons, a hip-hop powerhouse. Songs such as ‘Rock Box’ had significant cultural impacts with regard to the stigma around hip-hop and helped race relations. Furthermore, the song is considered to be the first-ever rock-rap song.
The five boroughs of New York, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, have always had a friendly rivalry regarding rap and who has the greatest rappers. However, for an extended period during the 1980s, it appeared as if Queens was unstoppable. Boasting acts such as Run-DMC, LL Cool J and the Juice Crew, the borough was most definitely potent. In a recent interview with VLADTV, McDaniels sat down and revealed his top five Queens rappers of all time.
You can see the legend’s picks in the list below.
DMC’s top five Queens rappers of all time:
- Rev Run
- LL Cool J
You can watch the full interview in the video below.