Run-DMC’s Self-Titled Debut: A 30th Anniversary Retrospective
“It’s Like That” and “Sucker MC’s” both spread like wildfire. They got burn on every radio in every urban center and ghetto across America. Run-DMC captured the hearts and minds of Hip-Hoppers all across the nation. They weren’t trying to gain favor with the segment of Black music radio programmers that shied away from rap because of its unwillingness to compromise or assimilate. At this time, most leading rap groups of the Old School Era dressed like a mix between punk rockers and Funk/Soul/R&B acts like Parliament/Funkadelic, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang or Rick James. Run-DMC dressed like straight up B-Boys from Hollis, Queens. This made them accessible and relatable to legions of Rap fans. The follow up single “Hard Times”/“Jam Master Jay” managed to raise anticipation for the album at a time when full length Rap albums were rarer than Black quarterbacks in the NFL.
After the release of Run-DMC’s self titled debut album on March 27th, 1984 it was clear that things would never be the same in rap music again. While they were on Profile Records they benefited fully from the push of the Def Jam/Rush Management machine which included the savvy and foresight of Russell Simmons and Bill Adler so the album was reviewed by leading music publications such as Rolling Stone, Spin, Village Voice, Billboard & New York Times that usually wouldn’t be receptive to rap. The critical response to the album echoed the streets which was yet another rarity for the times. It was universally recognized that Run-DMC were rap champions ushering in a new age for a daring, brash young American genre of music that was not to be denied its rightful place. Run-DMC’s debut album Run-DMC was released in late March 1984 and would be the first domino that fell just as Hip-Hop culture burst onto the American mainstream that year.