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Music / Run–D.M.C.

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Run–D.M.C. were a Hip-Hop group from Hollis, in the Queens borough of New York City. They have been widely acknowledged as The Beatles of hip hop, being one of the greatest rap groups in history. They brought harder, grittier elements into their sound than the other bands of their day. They brought in a street attitude in their style with jeans, sneakers, fedoras, and black leather jackets. Unlike other hip hop groups who sampled funk and disco records, they instead sampled noisy keyboards, industrial sounds, and most prominently rock guitars and drums, paving the way for the Rap Rock movement of the nineties, and becoming the first rap group to go Platinum. They famously collaborated with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith to remake their song "Walk This Way", which was a huge hit, bringing Aerosmith back into popularity, and allowing Run–D.M.C. to gain acceptance with white music fans, when hip hop was previously a "fad" among black people.


The band broke up after Jam-Master Jay was tragically shot and killed at his recording studio on October 30, 2002, sending the hip hop community into shock. The remaining members then went off to pursue solo projects.

Rev. Run's son, Diggy Simmons, has his own music/entertainment career.


  • D.M.C. (Darryl McDaniels) - rapper; MC (1981–2002)
  • Rev./DJ Run (Joseph Simmons) - rapper; MC (1981–2002)
  • Jam-Master Jay (Jason Mizell) - DJ; samples; keys; percussion (1981-killed in 2002)



  • Run–D.M.C. (1984)
  • King of Rock (1985)
  • Raising Hell (1986)
  • Tougher Than Leather (1988)
  • Back from Hell (1990)
  • Together Forever: Greatest Hits 1983–1991 (1991)
  • Down with the King (1993)
  • Crown Royal (2001)
  • Greatest Hits (2002)
  • Ultimate Run–D.M.C. (2003)
  • Live at Montreux 2001 (2007)


They star as themselves in Krush Groove (1985), a fictionalized retelling of the founding of Def Jam Recordings. They are also interviewed in the TV documentary Big Fun in the Big Town (1986), at the moment in history when the success of "Walk This Way" broke them to the mainstream.

Tropes associated with Run-D.M.C.:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: "It's Not Funny" lists a lot of situations that aren't hilarious to the person whom they should happen to, but some of them are pretty amusing to the listener. Others are downright ridiculous.
  • Badass Preacher: Run was ordained a Pentecostal minister in the early 2000's, hence his current stage name "Rev. Run."
  • Berserk Button: The group really doesn't like Calvin Klein. Everytime they reference it in their songs it's in dismissive terms.
  • Big Applesauce: They were from New York.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Said by both guys at the beginning of "You Talk Too Much".
  • Blind Without 'Em: D.M.C even raps about this: "I wear my glasses so I can see."
  • Boastful Rap: Many, many of their songs...
  • Clothes Make the Legend: They always wore the iconic jeans, sneakers, fedoras, and black leather jackets.
  • Christmas Songs: They recorded two songs for "A Very Special Christmas" and "A Very Special Christmas 2," Christmas themed charity compilation albums for the Special Olympics:
    • "Christmas in Hollis." It shows Run telling a story of how he found Santa's wallet, and returned it to him instead of keeping it.
    But I'd never steal from Santa, 'cause that ain't right
    So I headed home to mail it back to him that night
    But when I got home, I bugged, 'cause under the tree
    Was a letter from Santa that said the dough was for me!
    • "Christmas Is." It shows Run asking for the listeners to share money, gifts, and food with kids from the ghetto and prisoners.
  • Crossover:
    • Aerosmith - "Walk This Way."
    • Various A&M Records Artists - "A Very Special Christmas" and "A Very Special Christmas 2."
    • King Dream Chorus and Holiday Crew - "King Holiday."
  • Dead Artists Are Better: Although Jam-Master Jay always was well respected when he was alive, it was only after he died that people started to realize how important he was to the band. Important to the point of the band splitting up instead of getting another DJ.
  • Eating Pet Food: Referenced in "You Be Illin'."
  • The Golden Age of Hip Hop
  • Greatest Hits Album: Together Forever: Greatest Hits 1983–1991, Greatest Hits, The Best of Run–D.M.C., and Ultimate Run–D.M.C.
  • Hardcore Hip Hop: The pioneers of the genre along with Boogie Down Productions, and Eric B. & Rakim.
  • Hip-Hop
  • Long-Runner Line-up: Type 1. The starting Run–D.M.C. Jay lineup lasted for 21 years. When Jam-Master Jay died, the band split up instead of getting another DJ.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: They're fond of this trope. A few examples: "Peter Piper," "King of Rock," "My Adidas," and "It's Tricky."
  • Nice Shoes: "My Adidas."
  • One Extra Member: "Run-D.M.C." consisted of Run, DMC, and Jam-Master Jay.
  • Pastiche: This was done to them by Sesame Street during their "Healthy Food" sketch, which is a pastiche of Run-DMC's version of "Walk This Way."
  • Precision F-Strike: Occasionally, in contrast to the more Cluster F-Bomb stereotypes of the genre.
  • The Quiet One: Jam-Master Jay.
  • Rap Rock: Credited or blamed for this.
  • Rated G for Gangsta
  • Rock Trio
  • Rock-Star Song: "Rock Box," "King of Rock," and "Walk This Way."
    • The entire "Crown Royal" album was kinda an example of this trope. Most notably the song "Rock Show."
    • "It's Tricky" and "Can You Rock It Like This" both examine the stress of fame.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their 1984 debut.
  • Specs of Awesome: DMC.
  • Take That!: The video of "King of Rock" is this to white based rock music history.
  • True Companions: The band had the same lineup from beginning to end. The fact that Run and DMC chose to end the group after Jay's death shows how close they were.
  • Wrong Restaurant: The first verse of "You Be Illin'" tells of someone who goes to Kentucky Fried Chicken and orders a Big Mac, McDonald's' signature product.
  • You Talk Too Much!: Said a dozen or so times in their tune of the same name.


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