Run-D.M.C. (album)

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Run-D.M.C.
Run-D.M.C..jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 27, 1984
Recorded1983
StudioGreene Street Recording, New York City
Genre
Length39:27
Label
Producer
Run-D.M.C. chronology
Run-D.M.C.
(1984)
King of Rock
(1985)
Singles from Run-D.M.C.
  1. "It's Like That"
    Released: August 10, 1983
  2. "Hard Times"
    Released: December 11, 1983
  3. "Rock Box"
    Released: April 16, 1984
  4. "30 Days"
    Released: 1984
  5. "Hollis Crew (Krush Groove 2)"
    Released: 1984

Run-D.M.C. is the debut studio album by American hip hop group Run-D.M.C., released on March 27, 1984, by Profile Records. The album was produced by Russell Simmons and Larry Smith. It was considered groundbreaking for its time, presenting a tougher, more hardcore form of hip-hop. The album's sparse beats and aggressive rhymes were in sharp contrast with the light sound that was popular in hip hop at the time.

Run-D.M.C. peaked at number 53 on the Billboard 200, and number 14 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. The album became the first rap album which was certified as Gold by the RIAA (December 17, 1984).[1][2][3] The album features five the Billboard singles: "It's Like That", "Hard Times", "Rock Box", "30 Days" and "Hollis Crew". The first single from this album, "It's Like That", released on August 10, 1983, opened a new page in the history of hip-hop with a tone of social protest (unemployment, inflation). "It's Like That" is judged by many to be the first hardcore rap song,[4][5] and the first new school hip-hop recording.[6] "Sucker M.C.'s" is one of the first diss tracks,[7] and "Rock Box" is the first song in the rap rock genre.[5]

With Run-D.M.C., Run-D.M.C. came to be regarded by music critics as pioneering the movement of new school hip hop of the mid-1980s.[8] In 1989, the album was ranked number 51 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s.[9] In 2003, the album was ranked number 240 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, with the ranking changing to numbers 242 and 378 in the 2012 and 2020 updates of the list, respectively.[10] The album was reissued by Arista Records in 1999 and 2003. An expanded and remastered edition was released in 2005 and contained 4 previously unreleased songs.[11]

Background[edit]

The music on the album was created by Larry Smith's group Orange Krush using the drum machine Oberheim DMX and Jam Master Jay's scratches mixed in a guitar riff.[12]

The album is dedicated to the memory of DJ June Bug (1958 - 1983) - one of the greatest DJs in the world who worked as a DJ in the Bronx at the club Disco Fever, selling drugs at the same time.[13]

Impact of "Rock Box"[edit]

Run-D.M.C.'s second listed track, "Rock Box", which was released as the album's third single on April 16, 1984, is credited by music critics for dissolving social and racial boundaries within the music industry between rock music and mainstream hip hop at the time of the album's release.[14]

The music video for "Rock Box" became the first rap video played on MTV in the summer of 1984.[15][16] The video was filmed in the famous New York punk club Danceteria. As Run-D.M.C.'s first major video release, the trio represented 1980's New York street fashion with their signature look of black Kangol hats, black Lee jeans, black t-shirts and leather jackets, white Adidas sneakers, gold chains, and, as always, D.M.C. is wearing his trademark glasses.[17] Run-D.M.C. has been credited for evolving African-American fashion, breaking away from the highly glamorous looks of disco and early hip hop.[18]

In a 2019 episode of the AMC docuseries The Songs That Shook America, "Rock Box" was applauded for its blending of snare drum beats accompanied by the guitar riffs performed by American guitarist Eddie Martinez.[19]

"By mixing rock and rap, 'Rock Box' redefined both genres. Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Linkin Park, Rage Against the Machine, and Blink-182, none of them would be the same without this one song, and hip hop and rock might still be segregated art forms. That's its impact."

— Questlove

[20]

"Rock Box" would also go on to inspire many of Run-D.M.C.'s future material in the rap-rock genre, including the title track of their second studio album King of Rock, the singles "Walk This Way" and "It's Tricky" from the group's third studio album Raising Hell, and the title track of their fourth studio album Tougher Than Leather.[21]

Appearance in films[edit]

The song "It's Like That" was performed on stage in the 1985 Warner Bros. film Krush Groove, in which the Run-D.M.C.'s members starred in April 1985.[22]

Reception and influence[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[23]
Chicago Tribune[24]
Pitchfork8.1/10[25]
Record Collector[26]
Rolling Stone[27]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[28]
The Source5/5[29]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[30]
Uncut[31]
The Village VoiceA−[32]

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".[27]

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".[32] 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".[32]

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.[32][33] 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."[33][34] 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.[34] "It's Like That" is an aggressively delivered message rap whose social commentary has been defined variously as "objective fatalism",[32] "frustrated and renunciatory",[35] and just plain "reportage".[25]

In 1989, the album was ranked number 51 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s.[9] In 2003, the album was ranked number 240 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[36] The album's ranking moved to number 242 in the 2012 version of the list, and to number 378 in the 2020 update.[10]

In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.[37]

"It's the first rap album that broke big," observed Ice-T, "which paved the way for everybody into being able to make rap albums, not just singles." [38]

Accolades[edit]

  • The Observer – no. 40 at "50 albums that changed music" (2006)[39]
  • NME – no. 25 at "101 Albums To Hear Before You Die" (2014)[40]
  • Rolling Stone – no. 51 at "100 Best Albums of the Eighties" (1989)[41]
  • Rolling Stone – no. 240/242/378 at "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" (2003/2012/2020 editions of the list, respectively)[42][43]
  • Rolling Stone – no. 26 at "100 Best Debut Albums of All Time" (2003)[44]
  • Rolling Stone – "The 40 Most Groundbreaking Albums of All Time" (2013)[45]
  • Spin – no. 11 at "The 25 Greatest Albums of All Time" (1989)[46]
  • Spin – no. 7 at "The Ten Reasons We Wish Spin Had Started In 1984" (2005)[47]
  • The Source – "100 Best Rap Albums" (1998)[48]
  • The Source – "Albums Rated 5 Mics (Out of 5)" (1998)[49]
  • The Source – "100 Best Rap Singles" (1998)[50]
  • Beats Per Minute – no. 73 at "The Top 100 Albums of the 1980s" (2011)[51]
  • XXL – "40 Years of Hip-Hop: Top 5 Albums by Year" (2014)[52]
  • Uncut – no. 33 at "50 Greatest New York Albums" (2015)[53]
  • Complex – no. 37 at "The Best Rap Albums of the '80s" (2017)[54]
  • Complex – "The Best Hip-Hop Producer Alive, Every Year Since 1979" (2018)[55]
  • The Village Voice – no. 10 at "Pazz & Jop: Top 10 Albums By Year, 1971–2017" (2018)[56]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Sample(s)Length
1."Hard Times"Jimmy Bralower, JB Moore, Russell Simmons, Larry Smith, William Waring 3:52
2."Rock Box"Darryl McDaniels, Joseph Simmons, Smith 5:30
3."Jam-Master Jay"McDaniels, Jason Mizell, J. Simmons"Scratchin'" by Magic Disco Machine3:11
4."Hollis Crew (Krush-Groove 2)"McDaniels, Mizell, J. Simmons, R. Simmons 3:12
5."Sucker M.C.'s (Krush-Groove 1)"Nathaniel S. Hardy, Jr., McDaniels, J. Simmons, Smith"Live at the Disco Fever" by Lovebug Starski3:09
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."It's Like That"McDaniels, J. Simmons, Smith4:50
2."Wake Up"J. Simmons, Smith, R. Simmons, Daniel Hayden5:31
3."30 Days"Daniel Simmons, Smith, Moore5:47
4."Jay's Game"J. Simmons, Smith, Mizell, R. Simmons4:25
2005 deluxe edition CD bonus tracks
No.TitleLength
10."Rock Box (B-Boy Mix)"5:52
11."Here We Go (Live at the Funhouse)"4:06
12."Sucker M.C.'s (Live at Graffiti Rock)"3:25
13."Russell & Larry Running at the Mouth"4:37

Personnel[edit]

Musicians

Production

Charts[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[57] 53
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[58] 14

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[59] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "American certifications – Run-D.M.C. – Run-D.M.C." Recording Industry Association of America.
  2. ^ "SPIN Magazine (May, 1985): Rap 'N' Roll by Edward Rasen - page 27". books.google.com. May 1985. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  3. ^ Jenkins, Sacha; Wilson, Elliott; Mao, Jeff; Alvarez, Gabe; Rollins, Brent (March 25, 2014). First 10 Gold Rap Albums - Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists (2014) - page 280. ISBN 9781466866973. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  4. ^ Sickels, Robert C. (August 8, 2013). 100 Entertainers Who Changed America: An Encyclopedia of Pop Culture Luminaries (by Robert C. Sickels) (2013) - page 462. ISBN 9781598848311. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Run-DMC - Running Down a Dream (by Joshua Ostroff) Published Sep 01, 2005". exclaim.ca. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  6. ^ Shekell, Dustin; Chuck, D. (2009). LL Cool J (by Dustin Shekell, Chuck D) (2009) - page 44. ISBN 9781438103471. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  7. ^ Chuck, D. (October 10, 2017). Chuck D - This Day In Rap and Hip-Hop History (by Chuck D) (October 10, 2017) - page 37. ISBN 9780316430982. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  8. ^ Toop, p. xi
  9. ^ a b Product Notes – Run-D.M.C.. Muze. Retrieved on February 8, 2011.
  10. ^ a b "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. September 22, 2020. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  11. ^ "Run-D.M.C. - Run-D.M.C. (2005 expanded deluxe edition)". discogs.com. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  12. ^ Kajikawa, Loren (March 7, 2015). Sounding Race in Rap Songs (2015). ISBN 9780520283985. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  13. ^ "Krush Groove (Jan 7, 2010)". oldschoolhiphop.com. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  14. ^ October 28, undefined Editors |; 2019. "Find Out How Run-DMC Broke Boundaries With "Rock Box" | AMC Talk | AMC". www.amc.com. Retrieved April 11, 2022. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "Although Blondie's "Rapture" Was The First Music Video With A Rap Aired On MTV, Run-D.M.C.'s "Rock Box" Was The First Hip-Hop Music Video By A Rap Group Aired On MTV | DailyRapFacts". dailyrapfacts.com. October 7, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  16. ^ "Run-D.M.C. Is Beating the Rap (by ED KIERSH) [DECEMBER 4, 1986]". rollingstone.com. December 4, 1986. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  17. ^ "Take Off to Street Music: Run-D.M.C.'s "Rock Box" video rocked from the floor up to the ceiling (by Bryan Thomas) on January 11, 2017". nightflight.com. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  18. ^ "The History of Hip Hop Fashion: How Street Culture Became Fashion's Biggest Influence". afterglow. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  19. ^ Rock Box: 1984, Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America, October 27, 2019, retrieved April 11, 2022
  20. ^ Rock Box: 1984, Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America, October 27, 2019, retrieved April 11, 2022
  21. ^ "Before they could walk this way, Run-D.M.C. started with Rock Box". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  22. ^ "Krush Groove (1985) - Soundtracks - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  23. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Run-D.M.C. – Run-D.M.C." AllMusic. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  24. ^ Kot, Greg (December 2, 1990). "A Rundown On The Recording History Of Run-D.M.C." Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  25. ^ a b Breihan, Tom (September 22, 2005). "Run-D.M.C.: Run-DMC / King of Rock / Raising Hell / Tougher Than Leather". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  26. ^ McCann, Ian (October 2017). "Run-DMC; King Of Rock; Raising Hell; Tougher Than Leather | Run-DMC". Record Collector. No. 471. London. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  27. ^ a b Miller, Debby (August 30, 1984). "Run-D.M.C." Rolling Stone. New York. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  28. ^ Tate, Greg (2004). "Run-D.M.C.". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 708–709. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  29. ^ "Run-DMC: Run-D.M.C.". The Source. No. 150. New York. March 2002.
  30. ^ Weisbard, Eric (1995). "Run-D.M.C.". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. pp. 338–339. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  31. ^ "Run-DMC: Run-D.M.C.". Uncut. No. 78. London. November 2003. p. 130.
  32. ^ a b c d e Christgau, Robert (April 24, 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  33. ^ a b Shapiro, p.327
  34. ^ a b Shapiro, p. 401
  35. ^ Rose, Tricia. "'Fear of a Black Planet': Rap Music and Black Cultural Politics in the 1990s", The Journal of Negro Education, Summer 1991.
  36. ^ Staff (November 2003). 500 Greatest Albums: Run-DMC – Run-DMC. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on February 8, 2011.
  37. ^ The Source: 100 Best Rap Albums. Rocklist. Retrieved on February 22, 2009.
  38. ^ Fletcher, Mansel (March 2000). "100 Best Albums Ever". Hip Hop Connection: 37.
  39. ^ "The Observer's 50 albums that changed music". The Guardian. July 16, 2006. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  40. ^ "101 Albums To Hear Before You Die". nme.com. May 7, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  41. ^ "100 Best Albums of the Eighties". rollingstone.com. November 16, 1989. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  42. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". rollingstone.com. May 31, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  43. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  44. ^ "100 Best Debut Albums of All Time". rollingstone.com. October 13, 2013. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  45. ^ "The 40 Most Groundbreaking Albums of All Time". rollingstone.com. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  46. ^ "The 25 Greatest Albums of All Time". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  47. ^ "The Ten Reasons We Wish Spin Had Started In 1984". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  48. ^ "The Source - 100 Best Rap Albums". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  49. ^ "The Source: Albums Rated 5 Mics (Out of 5)". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  50. ^ "The Source - 100 Best Rap Singles". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  51. ^ "The Top 100 Albums of the 1980s". beatsperminute.com. September 8, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  52. ^ "40 Years of Hip-Hop: Top 5 Albums by Year". xxlmag.com. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  53. ^ "50 Greatest New York Albums". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  54. ^ "The Best Rap Albums of the '80s". complex.com. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  55. ^ "The Best Hip-Hop Producer Alive, Every Year Since 1979". complex.com. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  56. ^ "Pazz & Jop: Top 10 Albums By Year, 1971-2017". villagevoice.com. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  57. ^ "Run-DMC Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  58. ^ "Run-DMC Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  59. ^ "American album certifications – Run-D.M.C. – Run-D.M.C." Recording Industry Association of America.
Bibliography

External links[edit]