Run-D.M.C. "Sucker MC's" (live 1984)
Released 30 years ago - in March of 1984 - Run-D.M.C.'s eponymous debut has not aged one bit nor lost any of its vitality even three full decades later. So for this week's Hip-Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog I salute this influential landmark, nine track album Run-D.M.C. from the renowned Hollis, Queens, NY hip-hop trio (although only two appeared on the front cover); an album that ushered in a new school era of hip-hop upon its release back in '84. More than any other early era rap act the power trio of Run-D.M.C., comprised of Joseph "DJ Run" Simmons, Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, and the late great Jason "Jam-Master Jay" Mizell (who was murdered back in 2002 in a Jamaica Queens recording studio), were such a phenomenally influential rap/hip-hop act that they singularly were responsible for converting legions of new fans, who up until this point dismissed rap as mere novelty, to hip-hop music.
Furthermore Run-D.M.C. were also pioneering within hip-hop itself by being responsible for releasing the first real full length rap album to become a major hit. Up until this point rap acts generally only released singles and the idea of a full-length had not yet widely taken root. Hence in so doing Run-D.M.C.'s debut elevated the genre from been a primarily singles driven sub-genre of black music to help it go on to become the unstoppable force it is today on a global level.
Sonically the album was harder than anything else in rap music up until this point in time, and was delivered in a beatbox style, over hard drum machine beats, with in-your-face, aggressive (rebellious rock like) delivery of protest songs like "Hard Times," "Wake Up," and "30 Days." With a logo that is still copied to this day and a simple but instantly recognizable sharp fashion sense shared by all three, Run-D.M.C. cemented their image and themselves forever with this 1984 debut on Profile Records which, in 2005, was reissued as a "Deluxe Edition" with the four bonus tracks: "Rock Box [B-Boy Mix]," "Here We Go [Live at the Funhouse]," "Sucker M.C.'s [Live]," and "Russel & Larry Running at the Mouth." Below, alongside the cover art, is the original 1984 version track list of the landmark LP.
Run-D.M.C. 1984 (Profile Records)
1) "Hard Times"
2) "Rock Box"
3) "Jam-Master Jay"
4) "Hollis Crew (Krush-Groove 2)"
5) "Sucker M.C.'s (Krush-Groove 1)"
6) "It's Like That"
7) "Wake Up"
8) "30 Days"
9) "Jay's Game"