Run DMC – “Self Titled” Album Anniversary

Run DMC released their first studio album “Run DMC” on March 27, 1984.  The album was produced by Larry Smith and is hailed as one of the greatest albums in Hip Hop History.  The album was released on Profile Records and is one of the full length albums in Hip Hop history.  The album marks the end of “old-school” and the beginning of the “new-school” era.  This album changed the Hip Hop world forever.


The album starts off with “Hard Times“, a track previously recorded by Kurtis Blow. Believe it or not, their rendition is a bit harder and better and is on the conscious tip just like “The Message” was but not that grandiose.


“Hard times spreading just like the flu
Watch out homeboy, don’t let it catch you
P-p-prices go up, don’t let your pocket go down
When you got short money you’re stuck on the ground
Turn around, get ready, keep your eye on the prize
And be on point for the future shock”

The second track, “Rock Box” is hailed as the first rap video to appear on MTV.  The video depicts a young “white” child going backstage to get a Run DMC autograph. What better way to show the world that Run DMC is not that “intimidating” rap group, but one that invites all colors and creeds to the party.  “Rock Box” is a party track that everyone and their grandma will love and is timeless.

Track 3.  “Jam Master Jay“.  Probably the greatest track off the album, and for some people, the greatest Run DMC track of all time.  As all rappers did back in the day, they saluted their DJ.  Run and D did it on every album and more than that, they let the “old school” rappers now that their time was up.  The line that destroyed the old school was,

We’re live as can be but we’re not singing the blues
We got to tell all y’all the good news
The good news is that there is a crew
Not 5, not 4, not 3, just 2

The Furious Five, The Fearless Four and The Treacherous Three were all slaughtered on half a bar.  Unfortunately, it happens to everybody and when Rakim hit us with “Eric B is President“, Run DMC’s days were about to expire.

Hollis Crew” is practically “Sucker MC’s” part two and is another gem on this album. But “Sucker MC’s” set the standard and became the song that “killed the old school”. The song has that simple stripped down boom-bap beat that was not heard before.  No disco beat sample here.

One of the best opening lines in Hip Hop history has to be on “Sucker MC’s” where you know that every Hip Hop head knows the lines to,

“Two years ago, a friend of mine
Asked me to say some MC rhymes
So I said this rhyme I’m about to say
The rhyme was Def a-then it went this way
Took a test to become an MC
And Orange Krush became amazed at me
So Larry put me inside, his Cad-illac
The chaffeur drove off and we never came back
Dave cut the record down to the bone
And now they got me rockin on the microphone
And then we talkin autograph, and cheers and laugh
Champagne caviar, and bubble bath
But see ahh, ah that’s the life, ah that I lead
And you sucker MC’s is who I please
So take that and move back catch a heart attack
Because there’s nothin in the world, that Run’ll ever lack
I cold chill at a party in a b-boy stance
And rock on the mic and make the girls wanna dance
Fly like a Dove, that come from up above
I’m rockin on the mic and you can call me Run-Love”

It’s Like That” is one of those tracks that slap you in the face and make you realize that the world is one huge mess!  Like “The Message“, Run and D talk about the problems that plague the urban sector and the only way deal with problems is…

“One thing I know is that life is short
So listen up homeboy, give this a thought
The next time someone’s teaching why don’t you get taught?
It’s like that (what?) and that’s the way it is”

The album rounds up with “Wake Up” and the funky “30 days” where, if you are not satisfied with Run DMC, you can return them in…well…30days!  DUH!

“Now the name that I use is DJ Run
And I’m a fast-talkin slow-walkin number one
And if you don’t believe all the words I say
Then you’re a natural born fool who’s got to be that way

I got a 50 rating and a 50 share
Every minute, every hour that I’m on the air
And when I come to town, I’m on a big marquee
It says (DJ Run) and me, D.M.C.”

The final track is “Jays Game” were Jay’s turntablism is on display.  No lyrics, just JMJ being the Jam Master!

So “Kick off your shoes…

If you don’t own a copy of this album, then you should not be on this page.  Everyone should have this album.  It is that important!  Salute to the pioneers that took what was already there, and took it 100 steps above!  Run, D, JMJ, we salute you!

-Al E.





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