Run-DMC is a hip hop crew founded by Jason 'Jam Master Jay' Mizell that included Joseph 'Run' Simmons and Darryl 'DMC' McDaniels. The three members of Run-DMC grew up in Hollis, Queens, New York, USA.


Early history

'Run' Simmons is the brother of hip hop legend Russell Simmons, and entered the hip-hop scene by DJing for his brother's first big act, Kurtis Blow. He shared his experiences on stage with Darryl McDaniels, one of his best childhood friends. The pair began performing at an underage club in Hollis, and remained in contact as they went off to college - Run to LaGuardia Community College and Darryl to St. John's University. They soon brought in a third member, Jam Master Jay, and in 1983 released their first single, "It's Like That".

The group soon found it's way onto MTV, a notable accomplishment for a black music group at the time, and their self-titled debut album was the first rap album to go gold.

Mainstream success

Russell Simmons signed Run-DMC to his newly formed record label Def Jam in 1984, and on their first major US tour, the group set new trends by performing dressed in baggy black clothing, Adidas sneakers (with the shoelaces strictly removed), and Fedoras.

Their mainstream success continued as the group performed at the famous Live Aid concert in 1985, and their 1986 album Raising Hell became the highest-selling rap album in history, reaching number 3 on the Billboard album charts and selling over 3 million copies. The album featured the famous track, "Walk This Way", a rap-rock collaboration with the rock group Aerosmith. The song was the first hip-hop track to make the Top 10 on Billboard's singles charts.

Run-DMC were renowned for breaking new ground in rap music. "Sucker MC's" (1983) was the first hip hop track that relied on electronic beats and nothing else. Peter Piper (1986) was the first rap record in which the DJ (in this case Jam Master Jay) cut up a record (in this case, "Mardi Gras" by Bob James).

After a period of lacklustre commercial success after the Raising Hell album, the group made a comeback in 1993 with their album Down With The King, which made Billboard's Top 10 for album and the single "Down With The King". The New York Times published an article on the group with the quote, "Hip-hop is here to stay, Run-DMC is here to stay."

Later career

The group's three members began pursuing separate careers after the 1993 comeback, but continued to perform and tour together.

Jam Master Jay was shot and killed in a recording studio in Queens, New York on October 30, 2002, and the group officially retired from performing shortly after his death.


External links

de:Run DMC es:Run DMC it:Run DMC nl:Run DMC


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