On March 27, 1984 Run-DMC released their self-titled debut studio album. Full of 80’s beat machine and synth goodness, it’s definitely a blast from the past listening to the album again, 33 years after it was first released. The album is considered by many to be groundbreaking, due to its sparse beats and aggressive rhymes which created a more aggressive, harder form of hip hop that was in sharp contrast to the funky, light sound of hip hop prevalent at the time.
Run-DMC would go on to make hip hop classics like “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith and “My adidas” which spurred the popularity of the adidas Superstar sneakers which was an old basketball shoe from 1969. While not having invented the look, Run-DMC made the New York hustler look the mainstream street look of the time. Wearing their sneakers without laces was actually a nod to prison, where laces were removed to stop prisoners from hanging themselves with them. Run-DMC actually received the first musician endorsement deal for $1 million from adidas (because of the track "My adidas"), sparking a long-running association between adidas and hip hop which today includes Kanye West and Pharrell.
While the album is arguably not the greatest album from Run-DMC it is certainly influential for pioneering the movement of new school hip hop in the early 80’s and setting up Run-DMC to become cultural influencers of the 80’s and 90’s. In one way or another street wear, sneakers, and street culture can be traced back to Run-DMC. Also, the Run-DMC logo is one of music’s most prolific logos and is still immensely popular on clothing today. Despite the fact that some people wearing the logo don’t know the group at all.
Two of the most popular tracks from the album were “It’s Like That” and “Sucker M.C.’s” Have a listen below.