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"Run-D.M.C." is the debut album for one of the most well-known Old School Hip Hop acts who go by the same name. This release came in 1984, a time where artists in this genre tended to want to show progression from the very early acts, and so at the time these were labeled one of the New School acts (along with others such as Eric B. & Rakim and LL Cool J. Run-D.M.C. consisted of DJ Run, D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay (prior to the fatal shooting of the latter member in 2002)
1. "Hard Times"
The beat from this sounds like a remake of "It's Like That" as it uses the same sort of composition and beats. I think that this was done in order to show that it deals with growing up in a diffuclt situation and what may be associated with this, but really after having heard "It's Like That", it's not really worth listening to it.
2. "Rock Box"
This track hints on their future career as they went on to do a lot of Rap Rock tracks, here they perform their raps along to a Heavy Metal backing and some Jam Master Jay Hip Hop beats. The mix goes together surprisingly well, and acts as a strong start to the later msuic which they went on to do in this style.
3. "Jam Master Jay"
Here we have a track dedicated to the beat maker in the group, you have him throwing down some big mixes and scratches as the two MCs, D.M.C. and Run who big him up as he speaks with his hands. Although in comparison to the direction which Turntablism has gone in more current years, I sounds amateaur, you have to realise that few others would be able to do the types of things which you hear here.
4. "Hollis Crew"
The track which follws this, "Sucker MCs" is also known as "Krush-Groove 1", this is the second in the trio of tracks, the other featuring in a later release from them, and it uses the beat from "Sucker MCs", which was the B-Side to "It's Like That" in 1983, and here we have Run-D.M.C. revisting the beat in order to make the most out of the amazing percussion and contiuing what is said from the track after this. It would have made sense putting it after "Sucker MCs" in the tracklistings.
5. "Sucker MCs"
This is my personal favourite off the album, and should really have been promted a lot more than it was as it is just amazingly strong. When you listen to the Love Bug Steinski track whcih it samples, you notice that the beats have been rearranged, but it is certainly for the better as it makes for the perfect rhythm for their style. On many occasions it has been credited as the first diss track in the Hip hop world, however it doesn't seem to be targetted towards anyone in particular. Although it's no going to be able to compete with others like this over a decade on, with the best being 2Pac's 1996 track "Hit 'Em Up", it acts as a good reminder of the progression which the genre has made over the years from simply calling each other 'suckers' to well, you know, worse.
6. "It's Like That"
In the UK, the Jason Nevins 1997 House remix is much more known than this one, however you should go back to hear this original and compare the two. I prefer this one much more than the latter remix as it has harder percussion and really hits you in a way which the house version can't.
When you listen to the original, you pick up on things which the other version simply brushes over as it is a track which deals with similar themes which "The Message" did, highlighting all of the inner-city problems which are ignored by others who don't have to live with them. It was a big debut from the group.
7. "Wake Up"
This isn't the type of thing you would hear in today's raps as you hear the hook which has a great beat made up of snoring, however I believe that I can only appreciate the fact that it was quite original by doing something like this as the rest of it is very cheesy. You aloo have to acknowledge the way in which Run-D.M.C. attempt to paint a picture of the perfect world; one without war or poverty. However it certainly isn't a lyrical work of art.
8. "30 Days"
Here is yet another recyle of the "It's Like That", but here it's just annoying to hear it again, and they don't really do much with it on this time around. I think the only reason why I remotely enjoyed listening to it was because of the delivery of the line; the style which got them to where the were at their peak.
9. "Jay's Game"
Here another chance for Jam Master Jay to show off his Turnbalism skills as he does a big mix to end off the album, similar to what Granmaster Flash does at the end of "The Message" album. I couln't get into it as much as the Flash mix as itt took on the newer sound of Hip Hop, one where they had steered away from their Disco and Funk roots, so it was a lot harder and used elemnets of the tracks in this album.
This is good, but certainly not as strong as others which they went on to do. I think that the only purpose for buying this specific product would be to see how Hip Hop developed over the years, as when you compare it to other great releases of the time, it differs in how it remains consistant with the stlye, but then this lets it down as they over-use some of the beats. I think it's best to stick to a 'Greatest Hits' rather than this album.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Hard Times
2 Rock Box
3 Jam Master Jay
4 Hollis Crew (Krush Groove 2)
5 Sucker MC's
6 It's Like That
7 Wake Up
8 Thirty Days
9 Jay's Game