On April 4, 2009, Run-D.M.C. became the second rap group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, after Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five who were inducted in 2007. This honor came well deserved after the illustrious career of the trio. Run-D.M.C. helped to build a musical cross culture as well as serve as the cornerstone artist of one Hip Hop most powerful empires, Def Jam Records. Run-D.M.C.’s brand is timeless and iconic and can be said to be one of the launching boards for Hip Hop culture as a whole.
From their music to their style, Run-D.M.C. has immortalized their image in music history. In honor of this crowning achievement, we have compiled a list of examples to prove as to why Run-D.M.C. is considered to be the icons that they are.
It goes without saying that Adidas in and of itself is one of the most popular active wear brands around. Rivaled only by the titans Nike and Puma, Adidas has grown to become a household name in both fitness attire and style. In its early stages, Adidas’ popularity in the Hip Hop community can be largely attributed to Run-D.M.C. Everywhere Run-D.M.C. went they could be seen in head-to-toe Adidas with a gold rope chain and a black top hat. From the jewelry to the full sweat suits to the fat laced, shell-toe low tops, Run, D.M.C, and Jam Master Jay were undoubtedly fly. Their love for the Adidas brand mixed with their popularity in music soon brought them sponsorship dollars and eventually their own signature sneakers. Without their influence, it would have probably been a while before any sneaker brand became so popular in Hip Hop.
Cross Over Appeal
In the past, there have many icons in Hip Hop who have been able to stand the test of time and make it to legend status. Few artists however have been able to retain their respect as a rapper while being able to cross over genres and appeal to a broader audience. Run-D.M.C.’s ability to seamlessly transition between a rock and rap fan base is one of their greatest attributes. The hit single Walk This Way Featuring fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Aerosmith was one of the first of it’s kind. The genius concept to have two of the biggest stars in their respective genres led to a new sense of community in music. Like never before artists hailing from different genres began to collaborate and Hip Hop had finally broken completely into the mainstream. This single and style of rapping broke open the door for current rappers today to expand their support basis across genres.
The editor of Allmusic wrote that,
“More than any other Hip-Hop group, Run-D.M.C. are responsible for the sound and style of the music”.
It can and has been said that the group helped to move Hip Hop forward with the times. Their sound helped progress the genre out of that heavily funk and disco influenced sound and move toward a more hardcore style of rap. They helped the music transform from dance club-oriented songs like Kurtis Blow‘s “The Breaks” to more aggressive, hard-hitting tracks like their It’s Like That record. This transformation paved the way for the sounds the next generation of rappers such as Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, and Wu-Tang Clan. Outside of rap, artists like KoRN, Rage Against the Machine, and Linkin Park all have styles similar to the one popularized by Run-D.M.C.
The career of this prolific group is instrumental piece of music history as a whole. Their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame only proves that they are important to not only the genre that they concentrated in but were loved and admired by music lovers as a whole. Take some time out today to appreciate the career of one of the greatest music groups of all time.