|Single by Run–D.M.C.|
|from the album Raising Hell|
|B-side||Proud to Be Black|
|Released||February 8, 1987|
|Genre||Hip hop, rap rock|
|Writer(s)||Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, Doug Fieger, Berton Averre|
|Producer(s)||Rick Rubin, Run–D.M.C.|
|Run–D.M.C. singles chronology|
"It's Tricky" is the final single released from Run–D.M.C.'s third album, Raising Hell. It was released early in 1987 through Profile Records and was co-produced by Rick Rubin and the group themselves. The song peaked at No. 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 21 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. In the UK, the song made #16 on the UK Singles Chart upon its original release and #74 in 1998, while the Jason Nevins remix of their song "It's Like That" spent its fifth week at #1. Two decades after the song's release, The Knack sued Run-D.M.C. on the grounds "It's Tricky" sampled their song "My Sharona" without permission.
Single track listing
- A. "It's Tricky" – 3:02
- B. "Proud to Be Black" – 3:14
- A1. "It's Tricky" (Club Mix) – 7:19
- A2. "Up Tempo" – 2:35
- B1. "It's Tricky" (Remix) – 4:31
- B2. "It's Tricky" (Scratchapella) – 3:51
- B3. "Tricky Reprise" – 2:54
- B4. "Proud To Be Black" – 3:14
The music video features Penn and Teller, who are hustling a group of people with a game of three-card Monte in front of the Rialto Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Run–D.M.C. are called and shut their business down by winning every hand they play. Penn then asks the group if they can teach them to dance, which they do after insisting that Penn and Teller change their clothes. The video ends with Run–D.M.C. showing up to a gig in Japan six months later, where they find the duo impersonating them; unable to tell the difference, the concert promoters deny Run–D.M.C. the chance to perform.
This song contains samples of "My Sharona" by The Knack, as well as the entire vocal structure from "Mickey" by Toni Basil. The Knack sued Run DMC over the track in 2006, and the lawsuit was settled out of court.
K-pop group BTS (band) did a dance cover of the song.
In popular culture
- The song is featured in the several films, TV shows and video games including The Simpsons, Family Guy, Can't Hardly Wait, Road Trip, The Hot Chick, Malibu's Most Wanted, White Chicks, American Idol, One Tree Hill, Friday Night Lights, The Bounty Hunter, Suburgatory, Jack and Jill, Undeclared, Turbo, King of the Hill, The Goldbergs, WWE 2K16 and Forza Horizon 3.
- The video game SSX Tricky takes its name from the song, using the K-Rec remix as its theme music. When players land big tricks, the game plays a sample from the song. A different, dubstep-based remix by Colorado-based producer Pretty Lights appears in the 2012 SSX series reboot.
- A remix of the song is used in the first trailer of the 2016 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
- A version was also made for the Chuck E. Cheese's Franchise.
- "RUN D.M.C.". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- ""My Sharona" Writers Sue Run DMC For Sampling "It's Tricky"". Chartattack.com. September 18, 2006. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- It's Tricky - Run-D.M.C.
- Whosampled.com analysis
- Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling
"I just changed the chorus around and we just talked about how this rap business can be tricky to a brother."
- Mortimer, Natalie (14 March 2014). "Tesco rolls out multimillion pound marketing drive for blinkbox music streaming". TheDrum.com. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- Pereira, Chris (August 14, 2015). "WWE 2K16's Soundtrack Features Marilyn Manson, MGK, Run DMC, No John Cena". GameSpot. Retrieved October 29, 2016.