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.
Compromised of Jam Master Jay, Rev. Run and DMC, Run-DMC were formed in 1983 in the Hollis neighbourhood of Queens, New York. One of the crew members was brothers with a young Russell Simmons, who at the time was a hip hop promoter. He helped the young trio land a record deal to record their debut single.
With the crew’s rise to fame commencing during the mid-1980s 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 from there, continued to grow with their Aerosmith collaboration remaining legendary unto this day.
The crew’s first and second albums would lay the foundation for artists and crews alike to start experimenting with hip hop more and breaking free of the creative restrictions placed upon artists by hip hop purists. Run-DMC was a trio comprised of
Run DMC had a seismic impact on hip hop culture when they first formed. Not only were they the first hip hop act to have a partnership deal with a major fashion brand, but they were also the first hip hop act to get a gold record, a platinum record and a multi-platinum record.
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.
According to the godfather of gangsta rap, Ice-T, RUN DMC was “the first rap album that broke big, which paved the way for everybody into being able to make rap albums, not just singles.” The RUN DMC album was monumental and, to this day, is legendary. The album’s lead single ‘It’s Like That’ peaked at number one on the UK singles chart and is double-platinum in the UK.
However, their third album, Raising Hell. was just as monumental and the fourth single of the album ‘It’s Tricky’ was one of the most pioneering songs in hip hop. Below you can watch a recent clip of Rev Run singing along to ‘Tricky’ with a fan from his car.