Whether it’s the Firehouse in Brooklyn, Baseline Studios, Power Play, Chung King or The Hit Factory, New York is home to many iconic recording studios. However, some artists prefer certain facilities over others, and in a sit-down interview with the online music publication Rock The Bells, Rev Run of Run-DMC unveiled his favourite ‘Big Apple’ studio of all time.
For artists and record labels alike, recording studios can become a home of sorts. It is not uncommon for emcees to spend weeks, if not months, inside these facilities crafting songs and projects, so for many rappers, it is crucial to find the perfect studio to call home.
All studios have varying equipment, producing different results concerning sonics. Many factors must be considered when choosing a studio, from tone to the prominence of specific frequencies. However, despite all of the high-quality top-tier studios available in New York, Rev Run knows only one studio consistently delivers the results he is looking for. In an interview with Rock The Bells, Rev Run (real name Joseph Simmons) unveiled the one facility in the city that is truly magical. When asked about recording studios and where he (as part of Run-DMC) recorded his classics, Simmons revealed that the magic all began in DMC’s Queens basement studio.
Elaborating on the studio’s importance and explaining how it shaped him as an artist sonically and aesthetically, Simmons explained, “It wasn’t quite a recording studio, but it’s where I learned how to DJ. DMC’s basement had two turntables and a mixer, and that’s where I got my whole swagger to make records like ‘Mary, Mary,’ ‘It’s Tricky,’ and ‘Peter Piper’. During the conversation, Simmons even voiced a little fact that few know. Speaking on his days as a DJ before becoming an emcee, the Queens native explained how he was operating as a DJ for Bronx rapper Kurtis Blow before Run-DMC blew up.
He also delved into Run-DMC’s name and disclosed that the group actually were not fans of the name to begin with, explaining, “We wanted to be ‘The Dynamic Two’ or something like that because that was what was popular. Groups still had numbers in their names, like the Treacherous Three and the Fearless Four.” Compromised of Jam Master Jay, Rev. Run and DMC, Simmons revealed that his brother (Russell Simmons) didn’t even want him in the group initially, proclaiming, “I was never supposed to be in the group. Russell [Simmons] didn’t want me in the studio or anywhere around. Russell only allowed me on ‘It’s Like That’ because I wrote it with Run. ‘Sucker MC’s’ was supposed to be Run’s solo song. That’s why my rhyme is so short on it.”
However, one thing that the group were definitely sure of from the start is that they would be based out of DMC’s basement, as that was where they felt at home and able to make magic. Below you can listen to ‘Sucker MCs’, which was recorded in that very special location.