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Run-D.M.C is a legendary eighties rap group that combined intelligent lyrics and addictive beats to blaze a trail in popularizing rap and hip-hop as not just music but also a lifestyle. The founding members of Run-D.M.C all hail from the middle-class neighborhood of Hollis, Queens, New York. Joseph “Run” Simmons, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels, and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell founded the group in the early 80s.
Joseph Simmons, who became known as Rev Run, got his start DJing through his brother Russell by working with Kurtis Blow in 1978. Rev Run and D.MC. began hanging out at Two-Fifths Park in Hollis in the late 80s, and that is where they met Jam Master Jay.
The group released their first single “It’s Like That” in 1983, and the track became a Top 20 R&B hit. The groups third single “Rock Box” in 1983 broke barriers by receiving airplay on MTV when it was unusual to see videos featuring black performers.
The groups first album “Run-D.M.C.” was the first rap album to ever go gold. The groups third album cemented their cross over success producing one of the greatest hits of the 80’s with the track “Walk This Way,” a song they collaborated with the iconic rock group Aerosmith on. After many years of success, the group disbanded in 2002 after the murder of Jam-Master Jay at his Queens recording studio.
The legacy of Run D.M.C. includes achieving a number of notable firsts in hip hop music including producing a No. 1 R&B rap album, being the first rap act to chart in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 more than once, being the first rap act to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, being one of the first rap acts to receive a Grammy Award nomination, being the first rap act to perform at a major arena, and being the first rap act signed to a major product endorsement deal.
The following video takes a step back in time to the group’s early days. The clip is of an interview that aired on Dutch television in 1986. Check out the video below: