Run-DMC's Greatest Hits

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[Run DMC portrait] (L-R) Joseph "Run" Simmons, Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels and DJ Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell of Run DMC photographed in New York. 1988 Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect *** Special Rates Apply *** *** Exclusive ***
Run D.M.C. is one of the most legendary groups in Hip-Hop history. From "It's Tricky" to "My Adidas," here's a look at the group's greatest hits.

Hip-Hop trio Run-DMC set the standard for rap music throughout the 1980s. The trio became the second Hip-Hop group to enter the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In addition, Run-DMC received a Lifetime Grammy Award in 2016. Also, MTV named them the Greatest Hip-Hop group of all time, and VH1 ranked them as the Greatest Hip Hop Artist of All Time.

The group, comprised of Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons, Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, and Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell, was responsible for introducing the world to new-school Hip-Hop. In addition to their music, they also became famous for their influence on Hip-Hop culture. In particular, with their fashion sense, as their large gold chains and shell-toed Adidas Superstars are synonymous with the group today. Run-DMC had many classic songs throughout the 1980s that are still well-known today. Here's a look at some of Run-DMC's greatest hits.

7. "It's Like That" (1983)

"It's Like That" was Run-DMC's debut single. The group released the song in 1983 and put the group on the map. The song's beat is minimal, as the drum loop allows both lyricists free range to rap. In the song, Run-DMC raps about the hardships and struggles of the places they live. Along with this, the group also shares a hopeful message for listeners to believe in themselves.

Hip-Hop historians regard "It's Like That" as one of the earliest songs to help create a "new school" sound based on a street image and minimalist instrumentation. Along with its influence, the song was commercially successful, selling around five million copies worldwide. "It's Like That" came a few years before the group's most successful run in 1985 and 1986. However, it is the song that started it all and one of Run-DMC's greatest hits.

6. "You Talk Too Much" (1985)

"You Talk Too Much" was the second single from Run-DMC's second album, King of Rock. Much like "It's Like That," the beat on the song is minimal and does not feature any samples. In the song, the group raps about all of the people they know who just "never shut up." The song references television newscasters of the time, such as Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters. "You Talk Too Much" is both humorous and relatable and a hallmark of the 1980s Hip-Hop sound. Along with its critical success, the song was also commercially successful. "You Talk Too Much" reached No. 19 on the US Billboard R&B charts.

5. "Sucker M.C.'s (Krush-Groove 1)" (1983)

"Sucker M.C's (Krush-Groove 1)" is another of Run-DMC's earliest tracks that have become one of the group's most legendary. The beat is stripped back as the group shows off their lyrical storytelling ability. The song is also one of the earliest examples of braggadocios Hip-Hop. In the song, the group rap about their lavish lifestyle due to their skill behind the microphone. Run-DMC also uses the track to call out "Sucker M.C.'s" who use the fame and skill of others to try to become famous themselves. "Sucker M.C.'s" is regarded as one of the most important Hip-Hop songs of all time.

4. "It's Tricky" (1987)

"It's Tricky" is one of the most famous rap songs to date and perhaps one of the most famous Hip-Hop songs of the 1980s. Run-DMC released the track as the fourth single from the album Raisin' Hell. This album became the first platinum Hip-Hop album of all time. The group produced the song along with legendary producer Rick Rubin. The beat on "It's Tricky" differs greatly from the group's previous releases, as it is fast and uses a sample. It also shows the direction of rock-rap fusion the group used.

Throughout the song, the group rap about different dealings with women in their lives. The chorus also notes how "tricky" it is to "rock a rhyme that's right on time." The music video for "It's Tricky" also became incredibly famous along with the song itself. In the video, the famed comedy magician act Penn and Teller impersonates the group as they hustle a card game, learn how to dance, and eventually perform as Run-DMC.

3. "King of Rock" (1985)

"King of Rock," a single from the 1985 album of the same name, was one of the earliest displays of the group's ability to fuse the hard rock and Hip-Hop genres. The enmeshing of the two genres was unheard of at the time. Yet, Run-DMC does it to perfection on this song. A heavy metal guitar riff plays between verses, making "King of Rock" a huge leap from the group's previous releases in 1983.

Much like many of their other songs, the song's lyrical content is braggadocios. The group raps about their lifestyles as famous musicians and declares themselves the "kings of rock." The song also references many other famous musical acts at the time, such as Michael Jackson, The Beatles, and Kool and the Gang. In the music video for the song, the group can be seen walking over Michael Jackson's glove and breaking Elton John's glasses, effectively solidifying their place as the kings of rock.

2. "Walk This Way" (1986)

Perhaps the group's most famous song is their 1986 collaborative effort "Walk This Way" with rock group Aerosmith. Building upon the success of their King of Rock album, Run-DMC continued their rap-rock style. Aerosmith initially released "Walk This Way" in 1975 as a single. However, Run-DMC's cover of the song propelled it to new heights. The idea for the song came from producer Rick Rubin after he heard Run-DMC rapping over the drum riff of the song at a concert.

The verses feature Run-DMC rhymes, while Aerosmith's frontman Steven Tyler sings the chorus. The song is truly a perfect fusion of rock and rap. It also served as the first introduction to Hip-Hop music for a large audience of listeners at the time. Without "Walk This Way," it is difficult to guess how long it would have taken Hip-Hop music to reach the mainstream. Along with many other songs on this list, the "Walk This Way" music video is iconic. In the video, Run-DMC and Aerosmith are on opposite sides of a wall before it is eventually broken down—a perfect metaphor for the breaking of genres within the song.

1. "My Adidas" (1986)

Run-DMC's third album, Raisin' Hell, effectively marked the beginning of new school Hip-Hop. Much of this was in part to the success of the single "My Adidas." In the song, the group tells the story of their career and success through the perspective of their shoes. The shoes mentioned, Adidas Superstars, became synonymous with the group's image. In addition, they became part of the general image of Hip-Hop for the years that followed. Along with this, the success of "My Adidas" attracted the attention of the clothing brand after its release.

At a 1986 Madison Square Garden show, Adidas executives saw 20,000 fans waving their Adidas shoes in the air as the group performed. After this, Run-DMC became the first musical act to sign an endorsement deal with an athletic brand. This is history, as it influenced many future endorsement deals between clothing companies and Hip-Hop artists. "My Adidas" is an all-time classic track, and its historical importance extends beyond just music, as it led to an aspect of Hip-Hop culture that is just as, if not more important, today.


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