Run–D.M.C. is the debut studio 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 mid-1980s. The album was reissued as a "Deluxe Edition" in 2005 with four bonus tracks.
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". In his consumer guide for The Village Voice, critic Robert Christgau 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". 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".
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. 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." Run–D.M.C. rapped over the most sparse of musical backing tracks in hip hop at the time: a drum machine and a few scratches, with rhymes that harangued weak rappers and contrasted them to the group's success. "It's Like That" is an aggressively delivered message rap whose social commentary has been defined variously as "objective fatalism", "frustrated and renunciatory", and just plain "reportage".
In 1989, the album was ranked number 51 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s. In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums. In 2003, the album was ranked number 242 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.