Run DMC — Raising Hell


Reissue on black vinyl

Musically it indeed raises hell, being crammed to the brim with hard-hitting hooks, loops, samples, scratches, inventive tongue-twisting braggadocio and catchy choruses. Too many classics on this one: “Peter Piper” with the massive Bob James bell drum sample, “It’s Tricky” (putting The Knack’s “My Sharona” sample to extremely good use) and the song that popularized a certain brand of shoes in the Hip Hop community, “My Adidas.”

However the album’s flag bearer is undoubtedly “Walk This Way,” which literally rendered Aerosmith’s original version obsolete. Viewing from an 80s Hip-Hop perspective, the collaboration with Aerosmith seemed rather unusual to say the least, but at the same time it proved that Hip-Hop and Rock are merely next-door neighbors. The album’s timeless quality surfaces in its ability to bring together masses of fans of both genres.

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Many would say Raising Hell is rap’s first masterpiece. It certainly raised more than just a little hell, selling over 3 million albums worldwide. Produced by Rock/Hip Hop production pioneer Rick Rubin, this one raised the bar for Hip Hop albums in general.

Run DMC dropped the landmark work (first hip-hop album to go multi-platinum) in 1986, with the bombastic beats, furious bars traded between Rev Run and DMC, and Jam Master Jay's sharp, faster-than-Jack-B-Nimble cuts carrying the album, and by extension, rap, straight to the mainstream. A heavy dose of rock ‘n’ roll, as well as a bevy of ill jazz-funk samples (s/o Rick Rubin) ensure a party on the dancefloor, and the compelling rhymes that detail everything from the streets to shell toes complete this blockbuster of an album. Yes, Run DMC has been on rap-rock since its debut, but “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith took things to a completely new level (once again, s/o Rick Rubin), and tracks like “Peter Piper” (greatest opening track ever?), “It’s Tricky,” “You Be Illin’,” and “My Adidas” remain exceptional cultural moments that thrusted hip-hop forward into the next, grander phase.

Side 1:

  1. Peter Piper
  2. It’s Tricky
  3. My Adidas
  4. Walk This Way, feat. Aerosmith
  5. Is It Live
  6. Perfection

Side 2:

  1. Hit It Run
  2. Raising Hell
  3. You Be Illin’
  4. Dumb Girl
  5. Son Of Byford
  6. Proud to Be Black



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