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Yes, you could summise their best of 'It's Like That' and 'Walk This Way' but if you grew up in Brooklyn, you could probably reel off a few more. DJs Run and DMC and Jam Master J were producing some cutting edge rap tunes in the eighties which blended elements of hip hop, dance and rock. The fusion of sounds worked well for the streets and also translated into disco hits. If you want to get a perspective on their sound, then this fifteen track album is a good place to start.
Their teaming with Aerosmith on 'Walk This Way' blends rock and rap to good effect, a rip roaring guitar riff and screeching vocals from Tyler, softened slightly by a streetwise rap from the DMC. The vibe is funky, it sounds fresh and still rocks.
'Sucker Mcs' has some very raw drum sounds and a real pounding kick running through it. The rap is fluid, the energy flows well it sounds pretty basic to this day, lacking much in the way of instrumentation. More engaging is 'My Adidas' with a funkier beat and some synth stabs, you can imagine cruising to this through LA with the roof down.
'It's Like That' was made famous by a Jason Nevins remix, but the original is still pretty cool. While it lacks the pounding bass hook, the verses are all in tact with some minimal percussion. A bit overlong I think, but addictive. On a similar keel is 'It's Tricky' which gets down and dirty with some funky loops and another chanty kind of chorus that probably paved the way for the The Outhere Brothers.
'You Talk Too Much' continues the funky drum loops and stylish rap work, though is less appealing than the last two I mentioned, as the chorus hook does not have as much life in it. They almost sound a bit bored and going through the motions here. This suffices as a filler sort of song. More rewarding is 'Im Not Going Out Like That' which blasts off with a dancier vibe and more lively vocals. Better percussion here and a brighter tune give it some lift.
Not sure I could stomach a whole sitting of this stuff, but there a few you might want to cherry pick to kick start a house party.
Last weekend. Enjoying a VH1 ‘Behind the Music’ special charting the rise and influence of Run DMC. This morning. Woke up, flicked on text and there it was. Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay – Jason Mizell – had been shot dead, aged 37. Initially I thought coverage of the tragedy would amount to the usual clamour regarding hip-hop’s morbid fascination with firearms having overstepped the line once more. Notorious BIG, Tupac Shakur, Freaky Tah, Big L…now Jam Master Jay. But this doesn’t seem to have been about hip-hop beef, about gang warfare or the like. This was about the slaying of someone befitting of legendary status. Now the term legend is often bestowed upon persons that rarely warrant anything of such magnitude. Jam Master Jay can rest in peace, knowing he truly was one of rap’s – and in indeed, music in general’s – kings of innovation. In all honesty I can’t chronicle the life and times of a man who to some was just seen as the back-man bit part that stood in the shadows of Run and DMC. But from a personal perspective in learning about and getting into hip-hop, Jam Master Jay wrecking a set of Technics made a serious impression on a junior school lad through two tracks that rate as Run DMC’s finest ever. The most obvious is Walk This Way – you know the spiel. Fresh, new, ‘hip-hoppers’ update ageing rock dinosaurs, rap brought into the mainstream, beginning of a new era, etc. What got me with that track though was those JMJ cuts. Scratching a slab of vinyl to each time bring in Joe Perry’s funky-as-f*** guitar riff. Not the most technically accomplished or off the wall trick of the wrist, but a devastatingly simple scratch as fundamental to the track’s success as either Steven Tyler squawking the chorus or Messrs Simmons and McDaniels trading verbal volleys. ‘It started with a little kiss, like this…’, and the
re’s JMJ making this noise with a record to get hairs on the back of your neck standing to attention. My Adidas, Run DMC’s love sonnet to their favourite sneakers, is in the same classic bracket. And again, Mizell’s contribution again cannot be underestimated. While McDaniels and Simmons waxed lyrical about the number of pairs of shelltoes they owned, in what colour and with what other garment accompaniment, the Jam Master laid down a laser-guided set of rhythmic scratches between verses. Wicked, a tune I’d happily play any day of the week, and one I used to mimic with imaginary decks and air cross-fader. JMJ could even boast his own tribute song from his team-mates, the nursery rhyme character-cross examination of Peter Piper, complete with tougher than leather scratches at the time beyond their era. If you catch Missy Elliott’s latest Work It, you can hear snippets of the same song thrown into the mix and concluding the latest new skool work of Timbaland, who surely couldn’t predict that it’s sampling would serve as the swan-song to who it was originally dedicated to. Historically time wasn’t kind to Run DMC, who found their sound situated in an undoubtedly defining music era but were left harking for former glories once the much delayed and even more maligned Crown Royal album appeared on shelves. McDaniels and Simmons suffered personal problems that threatened to disintegrate the group while success was still fresh in the memory, but there is still no denying Run DMC’s place in history, and Jason Mizell rightfully taking his seat in the hall of fame. It may be strong to some to place him in the same bracket as Elvis Presley and John Lennon, but in his own way Mizell’s presence amongst such names is because his musical prestige and influence more than matches that of his predecessors. And those that say he was a less significant part of the trio are the same people bound to re
mark upon his noticeable absence should three have ever become two. Jam Master Jay to the uninformed may just have been ‘the other guy’ briefly mentioned in Jason Nevins’ sacrilegious remix of It’s Like That. But today a light that had flickered brightly was extinguished, and hip-hop became a much gloomier place as a result…
Its not even about the music. Its almost as if its become secondary to the main event and that's despite the fact that we have Run DMC, Spooks and Mark B & Blade on the bill. Today the name spreading round the venue is a certain Jenny Jones and I feel almost ashamed to admit it but I haven't a clue who she is. Apparently she's one of the Female Snowboarding champs of the world but is it just me or is Jenny Jones a second rate chat show host perhaps ranking lower that Vanessa or Trisha could ever hope for. First up on the main stage are Brit-hoppers Mark B & Blade. Flying the flag proud and bigging up the hip-hop massive these guys really do deserve more respect than they get. Ok, they may not be original and technically Blade is not the hottest rapper on the block but these guys really do have the tunes to get a party jumping. "The Unknown", "Ya Don't See The Signs" and "Piranha" all classic tracks in an old skool vibe - coming from a time before hip-hop was all about bitches and ho's. Maybe today they didn't blow the place up but slowly and surely they're working the way through every conceivable audience in the country and at the end of the day you've got to applaud a rap act who can support Eminem and Feeder within the space of a month. Next up are the longest coming / overnight sensation in hip hop - Spooks!!!!! For some people the reason worth coming and for other people just a second rate Fugees. One things for sure is that they're different than anything out at the moment. Making a change from the normal Spooks live shows, the technicalities of bringing over a live band for one show enable them to get back to the roots of rap music - a pair of decks and a microphone. Hitting it on two different levels they're doing it for the kids and look a bit deeper you'll find a serious message. A message that talked about the problems in America long before the recent terrorist
attacks highlighted the issues between the East and the West. Before the main event Freq Nasty warms up the crowd in only a way that Britain's hottest new DJ can. Run DMC what can you say? The Beatles and Elvis of hip hop and if anyone wants to dispute that I'll take them outside myself. Surprisingly they can still cut it with the best of them (despite the absence of Run) and the love coming from the crowd is just unbelievable. Old Manchester veterans Johnny Jay and Denise Johnson shake their booties while 10 year old kids know every word to "Walk This Way". I can't think of a bigger tribute!!! Establishing itself as one of the main events in the Manchester calendar Totally Board is here to stay. From the new boys to the veterans they got it spot and that was just the music. Add to that the greatest Skaters and boarders in the world and you have an damn near essential show.
Some people forget who is original rappers or hiphop artists are! If I asked you name 3 great rappers you properly say Eminem, Dr Dre and Ice T but do you ever think that Run DMC started that all?? RUN-DMC is made up of 3 people the first is Run or Joseph Simmons, the second is D.M.C or Darryl McDaniels and the third is Jam Master Jay or Jason Mizell. RUN-DMC were the first ever rap band to earn a gold album. They were the first ever rap band to earn a platinum album and they were the first ever rap band to earn a multi-platinum album. They were the first ever rap band to have there video played on MTV!!!! They stormed straight into the charts in 1998 with it like that (or Run-DMC VS Jason Nevons) and sang the song "walk this way" with Aroesmith. I’m sure you all know the song! So now when someone asks you who is one of the greatest rappers ever I really hope you answer RUN-DMC "they changed the face of rock and roll" and they changed the face of rap as we know it!!!
24th March, Mean Fiddler, Charing Cross road,6:30-10pm Tickets £13:50 Last night I went to this gig. Having never been to the Mean Fiddler before I was surprized as to how small and scruffy it was, Putting that aside, here is how the gig went: First of all There was a poor tape of soft rock to welcome us in at 7, after about an hour of that (and plenty of chips and beer) an incredibly poor "rock" band came on and screamed at us ! As I was unable to understand what they were saying or screaming about I have no idea what the name of this band was. They did a version of that "oh ah, a place to stay, get your booty on the floor tonight, make my day" whatever that was all about !?!?! Then back to the tape until 9 ! Next thing we knew Jam Master Jay was scratching his name and introducing himself, he then scratched in DMC to introduce him and then finally got the audience to chant Run Run Run Run Run !!! This was old School from start to finish, plenty of saying "HO" and waving our hands in the air like we dont care. Run DMC performed all their best hits as well as only one from the new album Crown Royal ! Their set included: Sucker MCs, Walk this Way (the audience filled in for Aerosmith),Its like that (jmj mixed between the old and remixed version),Its Tricky, Mary Mary, Beats to the rhyme, Here we go, Peter Piper, King of Rock, Rock box and mixture of beats and breaks to jump and say HO to, e.g. 900 Number, Apache and To be real. No Merchandise though ???? Apart from the signed tshirt they threw into the crowd and a hat ! This was a fantastic show, well worth seeing A bit about Run DMC: One of the pioneers of Hip Hop and rap, This group consisting of Run (Joseph Simmons), DMC (Darryl McDaniels) and Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizell) Have been making music since 1983. Albums include : Run DMC, King of Rock, Raising Hell, Tougher than Leather, Back from He
ll, Down with the King and Crown Royal. Most popular singles: Walk this way (with Aerosmith),Its Tricky, you be illin', It's Like that (poor poor remix by Jason Nevins), Christmas in Hollis, Whats it all about, Mary Mary, Runs House. Worst songs (in my view): Ghostbusters, Pause, Its like that remix, Walk this way remix (track13 on Crown Royal) Only rap act at Live Aid 1985 First rap act on MTV Starred in Krush Groove and Tougher than Leather films (quite poor, but hey I still like their music), Cameos in others such as Who's the man. I have seen Run DMC a few times live, 1986 raising hell tour, 1987 def jam tour, 1988 tougher than leather tour, 1993 down with the king show, 2001 Mean Fiddler. Each was an excellent show. Run DMC is a group which I have always listened to since I first heard them back in 83 when my dad bought Sucker MCs on 12". I'm not a great fan of rock/rap crossover music (although the new album looks to be much of that genre) but do enjoy what Run DMC have to say and the way they deliver. Its like that and thats the way it is
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Walk This Way - Run DMC & Aerosmith
2 Sucker MC's
3 My Adidas
4 It's Like That
5 King Of Rock
6 It's Tricky
7 You Talk Too Much
8 You Be Illin'
9 Rock Box
10 Run's House
11 Peter Piper
12 Raising Hell
13 Beats To The Rhyme
14 I'm Not Going Out Like That
15 Hit It Run