Sunday, February 07, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Run DMC

Artist:Run DMC f/Steven Tyler & Joe Perry
Song:Walk This Way
Album:Ultimate Run DMC

This 1986 record crossed rap over into mainstream rock. It was the first rap record to reach the Billboard Hot 100 top ten. So there's no question that Run DMC were music pioneers and worthy of induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. Run DMC are from Queens, NY. As a teen, Joseph Run" Simmons was recruited into performing rap by older brother Russell Simmons who would found Def Jam Records. Simmons performed with rap pioneer Kurtis Blow as DJ Run. Meanwhile, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels bought turntables and began to DJ. The two started hanging around a local park and that's where they met Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell. Simmons convinced his brother to record them and Russell Simmons came up with the name Run DMC. They didn't like the name at first. They signed with Profile Records who had some success in the rap market. Run DMC's first couple of albums did well in the R & B market. The 1985 album King Of Rock was certified Platinum. But it was the 1986 album Raising Hell that made Run DMC mainstream stars. This was their first album working with producer Rick Rubin who was Russell Simmons' partner at Def Jam. It was Rubin's idea to cover Walk This Way. But Run DMC didn't know anything about Aerosmith so Rubin had to explain it to them. Sampling rock classics has always been done by rappers. But Rubin convinced Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith to record new parts for this record. And the band in the video was not Aerosmith but an unknown band called Smashing Gladys. Aerosmith had just released their first album for their new label Geffen which stiffed so they needed a hit record. Of course the video was brilliant and MTV played it to death. It all helped Walk This Way reach #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Raising Hell was certified 3XPlatinum. So this was the biggest selling rap album at the time and it paved the way for future rappers. Run DMC never had another hit that big. And there was also conflict in the group which eventually split them up in 1993. Mizell had already started his own record label. This budget comp has all of Run DMC's hits along with a bonus DVD of videos. Run DMC reunited and released an album in 2002. But it wasn't the same and Simmons and McDaniels didn't get along. Then Mizell was murdered in his recording studio on Oct. 30, 2002 and that ended Run DMC for good. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2009. Simmons appeared in the successful reality show Run's House. McDaniels has recorded occasionally but he started his own comic book company which has done well. There was talk a couple of years ago about a Run DMC biopic. That seems to have stalled. McDaniels says he wants to do a Run DMC Broadway musical. Here's the video for Walk This Way by Run DMC featuring Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.


  1. I remember seeing them on MTV. I saw the video with Steven Tyler and the other videos. I just did not like them. I just could never like RAP music. It did not click with me ever Frank. I give many of the artists credit, they have talent and appeal to a younger generation, but for me I just do not like the music.

  2. I don't like rap either. But this was an historic record and I wrote about it in that context. AccuRadio's hip hop channels are not part of my mix. But occasionally something gets played and sometimes I will write about music I don't like. BTW, I recently watched a doc about Soul Train. And the only person who hated rap more than me was Soul Train host and creator Don Cornelius. That made me laugh.

  3. Frank, I heard about Don Cornelius and his hatred of RAP. I got a chuckle out that as well. Sadly he was fighting a losing battle with the wildly popular form of music. I understand your posting of RUN-DMC. It was historic and meaningful. Your posting is dead on correct. Thanks Defshepard.