Run-DMC: The Big Daddies Of Old School Hip Hop

DMC flexes

Original custom artwork perfect for a unique Run-DMC t-shirt

If you are a true-blue hip-hop music fan, there is no way you aren’t aware of Run-DMC. This American rap group from a small neighborhood of the New York City, Hollis, Queens, Run-DMC is the reason behind “new-school” rap. Joseph Simmons (Run), Darryl McDaniels (DMC or D.M.C.), and Jason Mizell (Jam Master Jay) founded Run DMC or Run-D.M.C in 1983. The trio went from pillar to post to bring hip hop into the musical and cultural mainstream. The group ruled the hip hop scene in the 1980s and was touted as the most influential act in hip hop culture’s history. With Gold, Platinum, and Multi-platinum hip hop records and a series of impressive firsts (first hip hop group to appear on American Bandstand, have music videos broadcast on MTV, feature on the cover of Rolling Stone, have a nomination for a Grammy, and perform at Live Aid), Run DMC is one of the most successful hip hop groups. They attained the 48th spot in Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Both MTV and VH1 named them the greatest hip-hop group of all time. Furthermore, with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, National Recording Registry induction, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and having sold 230 million records worldwide, Run-DMC is one of the most successful groups in hip hop music circuit. 

Run-DMC- From coming together to breaking down

old school RUN DMC

Joseph, Darryl, and Jason grew up in Hollins, Queens, New York City. Before Run-DMC happened, all three of them were exploring different careers. Joseph would perform as a DJ as “DJ Run, Son of Kurtis Blow” with popular solo rapper Kurtis Blow, McDaniels, after exploring athletics, turned to DJing, and Mizell would work as a local DJ. When Joseph and Darryl began exploring the music world, they created Run-DMC and roped in Jason as their official DJ. Although Run’s first single, “Street Kid”, failed to impress the audience, his love and passion for hip hop mushroomed over time. After passing the high school in late-1983, Run and McDaniel or Run-DMC released their debut single, “It’s Like That/Sucker MCs”, which received rave reviews, and it made it to number 15 on R&B charts. The following year, in 1984, they released their eponymous debut album Run-D.M.C. with hit singles including “Hard Times” and Jam-Master Jay”. “Rock Box” proved to be their landmark single. The single was a fusion of hard rock with raw hip hop, which initiated the rap-rock subgenre movement. 

RUN DMC made Adidas famous
RUN DMC made Adidas famous

Their 1985 release, King of Rock, witnessed many rap-rock fusions, including numbers like “Can You Rock It Like This”. They experimented with rap and dancehall and churned out “Roots, Rap, Reggae”. Their single “Rock Box” became their biggest hit and the first hip-hop music video to be broadcast on MTV. In late-1985, they were seen in Krush Groove, a hip-hop film. The group returned to the studio in 1986 for their third album, “Raising Hell”, their most successful album. Touted as one of the best rap albums of all time, it was certified double-platinum and made them a global name. Its lead single “Walk This Way”, a cover of Aerosmith’s classic hard rock song, sent ripples worldwide. It was declared a big hit and made it to number 4 on the Hot 100 list. It also gave a kick to Aerosmith’s career. Another single, “My Adidas”, handed them a handsome endorsement deal with Adidas and cemented their relationship with the brand. The deal also marked the beginning of hip-hop fashion. 

Run is a reverend
Run is a reverend

After relishing the success of their album and touring in 1987, Run-DMC released their next album, “Tougher Than Leather”, in 1988. With this album, the group tried experimenting with sample-heavy sound but failed to impress their fans the way they did with their older albums. However, several singles, including “Beats to the Rhyme”, “Run’s House”, and “Mary Mary” showcased strong performances. In 1988, Run-DMC appeared in Tougher Than Leather, featuring special performances by Slick Rick and Beastie Boys. In 1990 came “Back from Hell”, showcasing a merger between hip hop and contemporary R&B. The album failed to create magic. Only two singles from the album including, “Pause” and “The Ave” were received well by the fans. It was at the same time that personal problems began to brew in the group. In 1993, after a break of three years, the group released “Down with the King”. The album became a hit, gained entry at number 1 on charts and 7 on the pop charts, and went platinum. The following years proved bad for the group. The members fell into the trap of personal issues and went on exploring different paths. In 2001 came “Crown Royal”, which sold well. The release was followed by a worldwide tour with Aerosmith. The tour became a big hit. It was after the tour that Simmons called it quits. In 2002, Mizell was shot dead. 

The kings of a new hip hop era

Run-DMC injected a new style and sound to old-school hip hop, giving something new and amazing to the world of music. Their latest take on hip hop brought about a big change in hip hop culture. Not just in their music, they also changed the way old-school rappers would dress. They shunned the idea of wearing glam attire and brought in street style. Dressed in leather jackets, Kangol hats, and Adidas shoes, they redefined every aspect of hip-hop music. 

Run DMC Tribute Tshirts

run dmc tshirt
run dmc t-shirt

They came, they saw, they conquered- Run-DMC took the entire world by storm with their experimental hip hop music. They changed the hip-hop culture and gave something new, different, and worth cherishing to the music lovers. They created a phenomenon and ruled the hip-hop world for years. If you love the new-school hip hop music incepted by Run-DMC the way we do, order our “Rock Box in Hollis, Queens Tribute to Run DMC one of the GOATs T-shirt” now. Flaunt this t-shirt and celebrate the legacy of the big daddies of the new school hip hop. 

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63 thoughts on “Run-DMC: The Big Daddies Of Old School Hip Hop

  1. cardboardandroid says:

    I remember when I was about 8 going to HMV (music store) with my auntie, they had a RUNDMC cd in one of the listening towers and I loved it, so much so my aunt bought me the CD, had my love of hip hop since then and its not going away.

  2. Michael Coovert says:

    Run DMC takes me back to my childhood. I have so many memories of dancing to their music at so many school dances.

  3. Jake says:

    Honestly had never heard of them, you learn something new everyday. They were even on the cover of Rolling Stones.

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