It's Like That (Run-D.M.C. song)

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"It's Like That"
Single by Run-DMC
from the album Run-D.M.C.
B-side"Sucker M.C.'s"
ReleasedAugust 10, 1983 (1983-08-10)
Recorded1983
GenreNew school hip hop
Length
  • 4:51 (7-inch)
  • 7:25 (12-inch)
LabelProfile Records
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Run-DMC singles chronology
"It's Like That"
(1983)
"Hard Times"
(1983)
Alternative release
12-inch US retail vinyl release
12-inch US retail vinyl release

"It's Like That" is the debut single by American hip hop group Run-DMC, released in 1983 by Profile Records. The song was remixed by house DJ Jason Nevins in 1997. His version was originally released in 1997 on 10" vinyl in the U.S., and became a sleeper hit in 1998. It sold around five million copies worldwide, placing it amongst the biggest selling singles of all time.

In 2008, it was ranked number 40 on VH1's 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs.[1]

Run-D.M.C. version[edit]

It was first released in 1983 backed with the track "Sucker M.C.'s". The release marked the start of Run-DMC's career and is widely regarded as ushering in a new school of hip hop artists with a street image and an abrasive, minimalist sound that marked them out from their predecessors. Both tracks were collected on the trio's eponymous debut album in 1984. "It's Like That" is about life in the area where the group lives (unemployment, prices, death, etc.). Despite protesting those social and political problems, the song takes on a hopeful message encouraging listeners to abandon prejudice and to believe in themselves. In 2001, parts of the song was sampled in Jagged Edge's "Let's Get Married (Remix)" featuring Run-DMC. The single was an international success.

The song would be named by fans one of Run-D.M.C.'s signature songs.[2]

In the re-release of the album in 2004, a booklet was included, and a reviewer, Angus Batey, wrote the background information about the album. When he wrote about "It's like That", he stated:

[Larry] Smith had created one particularly stark backing track that would provide a perfect setting for rap. He was aware of Run's prowess as a writer, having previously paid the teenager $100 for a set of lyrics with the intention of [Kurtis] Blow recording them. One evening, in Smith's home studio in Queens, Run and D persuaded Larry and Russell [Simmons] to let them have a chance to make a demo. Russell agreed; taking Run's $100 rap and extensive additional lines penned by the prolific DMC, Russell doled it out line by line between the two vocalists, who sprayed their lyrics over the stark beat onto tape. 'It's Like That' became the band's debut single, stridently announcing that a new era began.

The song was mixed by Kurtis Blow and Elai Tubo.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Darryl McDaniels, Joe Simmons and Larry Smith.

12-inch Profile – PRO-7019 (US)

  1. "It's Like That" – 7:25
  2. "Sucker M.C.'s (Krush Groove 1)" – 3:15
  3. "It's Like That" (Instrumental) – 7:10
  4. "Sucker M.C.'s (Krush Groove 1)" (Instrumental) – 3:05

Charts[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
position
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[3] 15

Jason Nevins version[edit]

"It's Like That"
Run DMC Jason Nevins - Its Like That single cover.jpg
Single by Run-DMC vs. Jason Nevins
ReleasedJuly 10, 1997 (1997-07-10)
Recorded1997
GenreHip house[4]
Length4:10
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Russell Simmons
  • Larry Smith
  • Jason Nevins
Run-DMC vs. Jason Nevins singles chronology
"Can I Get It, Yo"
(1993)
"It's Like That"
(1997)
"It's Tricky"
(1998)
Music video
"It's Like That" on YouTube

In 1997, a new version by American producer Jason Nevins was released. The Nevins version topped the singles charts in 12 countries, including the United Kingdom, where it stayed at the top for six weeks and became Britain's third biggest-selling single of 1998. In the UK, the Nevins remix gained notoriety for breaking the Spice Girls' run of consecutive number-one hits on the UK Singles Chart, keeping their song "Stop" from claiming the top spot.[5][6]

Critical reception[edit]

Larry Flick from Billboard wrote, "The lines dividing rap and dance music are momentarily blurred on this revision of a Run-D.M.C. chestnut. Their rhymes are sewn into a forceful, house-inflected groove by underground club dynamo Nevins, who displays a palpable talent for combining hard-edged flavor with ear-grabbing hooks. Club DJs have already turned this into a dancefloor staple, with crossover radio mix-show programmers also banging it like crazy. It won't be long before folks can hear it during morning-drive hours."[7] A writer from Daily Record stated that this version is "brilliant".[8]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the remix featured male vs. female breakdance crews battling each other. The video was shot in downtown LA in 1998 after the song became a hit in Europe.[9] Jason is in the beginning of the video wearing his 'well known yellow tinted glasses' and holding a boom box.

Track listings[edit]

US 12-inch vinyl[10]

A1. "It's Like That" (Drop the Break) – 8:20
A2. "It's Like That" (Battle Beat Dub) – 4:48
B1. "It's Like That" (Jason's Battle Blaster) – 8:21
B2. "It's Like That" (Acapella Break) – 1:28
B3. "It's Like That" (Bonus Beat Break) – 8:20

CD maxi, Australian CD single[11]

  1. "It's Like That" (Drop the Break – radio edit) – 4:09
  2. "It's Like That" (Jason's Battle Blaster) – 8:21
  3. "It's Like That" (Drop the Break) – 8:20

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ VH1′s 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs - Stereogum. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  2. ^ Simmons, Joseph; Taylor, Curtis L. (2000). "Chapter 2: 'Run's House'". It's Like That: A Spiritual Memoir. New York City: St. Martin's Press. p. 9. ISBN 0-312-20467-1. LCCN 00-029685.
  3. ^ "Run D-M-C Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  4. ^ Lorenz, Christian (April 18, 1998). "Epic puts 'hip-house' on the map" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 15 no. 16. p. 8. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  5. ^ Myers, Justin (March 16, 2017). "This week in 1998: Stop ends Spice Girls' run of consecutive Number 1s". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  6. ^ BBC Sounds [@BBCSounds] (March 15, 2018). "20 years ago today: The Spice Girls' 'Stop' charted at number two on the UK Singles Chart behind "It's Like That" by Run-D.M.C. vs Jason Nevins, ending their streak of consecutive number-one singles. Several fan-lead campaigns to get 'Stop to the top' have as yet failed" (Tweet). Retrieved September 5, 2019 – via Twitter.
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