Run–D.M.C. (album)

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Run–D.M.C.
Studio album by Run–D.M.C.
Released March 27, 1984
Recorded 1983 at Greene Street Recording in New York City
Genre Hip hop, new school hip hop
Length 39:27
Label Profile, Arista
Producer Russell Simmons, Larry Smith
Run–D.M.C. chronology
Run–D.M.C.
(1984)
King of Rock
(1985)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau A−[2]
The Observer (favorable)[3]
Pitchfork Media (8.1/10)[4]
RapReviews (10/10)[5]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars 1984[6]
Rolling Stone 4.5/5 stars 2004[7]
The Source 5/5 stars[8]
Spin (9/10)[9]
Uncut 4/5 stars[10]

Run–D.M.C. is the debut album of American hip hop group Run–D.M.C.. Produced in 1984, it was considered groundbreaking for its time, presenting a harder, more aggressive form of hip hop. The album's sparse beats and aggressive rhymes were in sharp contrast with the light, funky sound that was popular in hip hop at the time. With the album, the group has been regarded by music writers as pioneering the movement of new school hip hop of the early 1980s.[11] The album was reissued as a "Deluxe Edition" in 2005 with four bonus tracks.

Reception and influence[edit]

Debby Miller of Rolling Stone complimented Run–D.M.C.'s boasts about "messages that self-improvement is the only ticket out" and viewed their style as a departure from most hip hop acts at the time, stating "they get into a vocal tug of war that's completely different from the straightforward delivery of the Furious Five's Melle Mel or the everybody-takes-a-verse approach of groups like Sequence. And the music [...] that backs these tracks is surprisingly varied, for all its bare bones".[6] In his consumer guide for The Village Voice, critic Robert Christgau gave the album an A- rating and described it as "easily the canniest and most formally sustained rap album ever, a tour de force I trust will be studied by all manner of creative downtowners and racially enlightened Englishmen".[2] Christgau commented on the group's "heavy staccato and proud disdain for melody", writing that "the style has been in the New York air long enough that you may understand it better than you think".[2]

The album has been regarded by music writers as one of early hip hop's best albums and a landmark release of the new school hip hop movement in the 1980s.[2][12] According to journalist Peter Shapiro, the album's 1983 double-single release "It's like That"/"Sucker MCs" "completely changed hip-hop [...] rendering everything that preceded it distinctly old school with one fell swoop."[12][13] Run–D.M.C. rapped over the most sparse of musical backing tracks in hip hop at the time. "Sucker MCs" features a loud drum machine and a few scratches, with rhymes that harangued weak rappers and contrasted them to the group's success.[13] "It's like That" is an aggressively delivered message rap whose social commentary has been defined variously as "objective fatalism",[2] "frustrated and renunciatory",[14] and just plain "reportage".[4]

In 1989, the album was ranked number 51 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s.[15] In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.[16] In 2003, the album was ranked number 240 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[17]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Hard Times" – 3:52 (Bralower, Moore, R.Simmons, Smith, Waring)
  2. "Rock Box" – 5:30 (McDaniels, J.Simmons, Smith)
  3. "Jam-Master Jay" – 3:11 (McDaniels, Mizell, J.Simmons, Smith, R.Simmons)
    • Samples:
      • "Scratchin'" by Magic Disco Machine
  4. "Hollis Crew (Krush-Groove 2)" – 3:12 (McDaniels, J.Simmons, Mizell)
  5. "Sucker M.C.'s (Krush-Groove 1)" – 3:09 (N.S.Hardy, Jr., McDaniels, J.Simmons, Smith)
  6. "It's Like That" – 4:50 (McDaniels, J.Simmons, Smith)
  7. "Wake Up" – 5:31 (J.Simmons, Smith, R.Simmons, Hayden)
  8. "30 Days" – 5:47 (D.Simmons, Smith, Moore)
  9. "Jay's Game" – 4:25 (J.Simmons, Smith, Mizell, R.Simmons)
Deluxe Edition bonus tracks
  1. "Rock Box (B-Boy Mix)" – 5:52
  2. "Here We Go [Live at the Funhouse]" – 4:06
  3. "Sucker M.C.'s (Live at Graffiti Rock)" – 3:25
  4. "Russell & Larry Running at the Mouth" – 4:37

Personnel[edit]

Musicians
Production
  • Orange Krush – Composer
  • Russell Simmons – Producer
  • Larry Smith – Producer
  • Rod Hui – Producer/Engineer

Sampled use[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[18] 53
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[18] 14

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart positions
US R&B
[18]
US Dance
[18]
1983 "It's Like That" 15
1984 "Hard Times" / "Jam Master Jay" 11
"Rock Box" 26
"30 Days" 16
"Hollis Crew (Krush Groove 2)" 65

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (November 1, 2001). Review: Run–D.M.C.. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2011-02-08.
  2. ^ a b c d e Christgau, Robert (April 24, 1984). "Consumer Guide: Run–D.M.C.". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on 2011-02-08.
  3. ^ Staff (July 16, 2006). The 50 albums that changed music. The Observer. Retrieved on 2011-02-08.
  4. ^ a b Breihan, Tom (September 22, 2005). Review: Run–D.M.C.. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2011-02-08.
  5. ^ Juon, Steve (October 31, 2002). Review: Run–D.M.C.. RapReviews. Retrieved on 2011-02-08.
  6. ^ a b Miller, Debby (August 30, 1984). Review: Run–D.M.C.. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2011-02-08.
  7. ^ Hoard, Christian (November 2, 2004). "Review: Run–D.M.C.". Rolling Stone: 708–709. Archived from the original on 2011-02-08.
  8. ^ Kazeem (August 4, 2010). The Complete List Of 5 Mic Hip-Hop Classics. The Source. Retrieved on 2010-12-23.
  9. ^ Marks, Craig (October 10, 1995). "Review: Paid in Full". Spin.
  10. ^ Perhacs, Linda (November 2003). Old School Ties. Uncut. Retrieved on 2011-02-08.
  11. ^ Toop, p. xi
  12. ^ a b Shapiro, p.327
  13. ^ a b Shapiro, p. 401
  14. ^ Rose, Tricia. "'Fear of a Black Planet': Rap Music and Black Cultural Politics in the 1990s", The Journal of Negro Education, Summer 1991.
  15. ^ Product Notes – Run–D.M.C.. Muze. Retrieved on 2011-02-08.
  16. ^ The Source: 100 Best Rap Albums. Rocklist. Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
  17. ^ Staff (November 2003). 500 Greatest Albums: Run-DMC – Run-DMC. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2011-02-08.
  18. ^ a b c d "Run-D.M.C. Chart Positions (Allmusic)". Billbord. Retrieved November 19, 2010. 
Bibliography

External links[edit]