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Run DMC with Aerosmith

The founding members of Run-D.M.C. came from the unlikeliest of places: the middle-class neighbourhood of Hollis, Queens, New York. Joseph Ward Simmons (a.k.a. Run, Rev Run, The Reverend; born 14th November 1964), the youngest son of educator Daniel and Evelyn, began DJing for one of rap’s earliest stars, Kurtis Blow in 1978 – Simmons got the job courtesy of his brother, Russell, who was managing Blow at the time.

Joseph Simmons became known as “Kurtis Blow's Disco Son – DJ Run”, soon shortened to DJ Run, so named because of his ability to cut between two turntables rapidly. Diversifying from DJing, Run began to make a name for himself among the local B-boys (break boys, or aficionados of the hip-hop lifestyle) as an emcee (M.C., or Master of Ceremonies, now known as a rapper). He started to have verbal duels with Blow, and recorded his performances for his friend Darryl McDaniels.

Darryl Matthews McDaniels (a.k.a. DMC, Easy D, Darryl Mac; born 31st May 1964), the son of an engineer and a nurse, started listening to hip-hop after hearing a tape of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, one of the very first hip-hop groups (pioneers of the techniques of MCing, freestyle battles and record mixing and scratching) in the genre’s infancy.

DMC was less into the hip-hop lifestyle than Run; he loved American football, basketball and was a comic book enthusiast. However, his skills at rapping and rhyming were soon developed in tandem with Run, and the two started going out to 205th Street in Hollis (colloquially referred to as “Two-Fifth down”) to watch the local DJs strut their stuff. It was here they bumped into a hotshot DJ called Jazzy Jase.

Jason William Mizell (a.k.a. Jam-Master Jay, DJ Jazzy Jase; born 21st January 1965) had quite a reputation in the area for being the flashiest amongst the B-boys around, standing out in the midst of a crowd of hip-hoppers trying to make a name for themselves. After getting into trouble with the law, he took up the drums and bass, but soon switched to the turntables as an instrument. With his skills, budding emcees were doing whatever they could to come up and rap in front of him.

1982 came, and Run and DMC were keeping in touch while in college: Run in LaGuardia Community College to study mortuary science, and DMC in St John’s University. They resolved to form a rap duo, and enlisted Mizell to scratch turntables for them. Thus Run-D.M.C. was born. By this time, Run’s brother, Russell Simmons, was becoming a major figure in the rap world, and together with his white partner and producer Rick Rubin, had started the soon-to-be legendary record label Def Jam Records.

Run–D.M.C. is an American hip hop group from Hollis, Queens, New York, founded in 1981 by Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, and Jam Master Jay. The group is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential acts in the history of hip hop culture. Run–D.M.C. is one of the best-known hip hop acts in the 1980s who, along with LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy, signified the advent of the new school of hip hop music. They were the first group in the genre to have a gold album (Run–D.M.C., 1984) and be nominated for a Grammy Award. They were the first to earn a platinum record (King of Rock, 1985), the first to earn a multiplatinum certification (Raising Hell, 1986), the first to have videos on MTV, and the first to appear on American Bandstand and the cover of Rolling Stone. Run–D.M.C. was the only hip hop act to perform at Live Aid in 1985.

The group was among the first to highlight the importance of the MC and DJ relationship. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them number 48 in their list of the greatest musical artists of all time. In 2007, Run–D.M.C. was named "The Greatest Hip Hop Group of All Time" by and "Greatest Hip Hop Artist of All Time" by VH1. On April 4, 2009, rapper Eminem inducted them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In doing so, Run–D.M.C. became only the second hip hop group in history to be inducted, after Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

Run DMC's song 'It's Tricky' is featured on the Road Trip soundtrack as well as other shows and movies.


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