Pioneers like The Sugarhill Gang, Cold Crush Brothers, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five may have set the template for collectives in rap, but it was Run-D.M.C. that truly ushered the genre's ascent into the mainstream.
Comprised DJ Jam Master Jay and emcees Run and D.M.C., the trio out Hollis, Queens was groomed by Run's older brother and Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons, who helped score Run-D.M.C. a deal with Prile Records in 1983.
Run-D.M.C.'s debut single, "It's Like That/Sucker MCs," symbolized the dawn a new era in rap and served as a precursor to rap's first golden era, with a new street-wise brand rap and fashion that became the new standard within the culture.
Peaking at No. 15 on the R&B charts, and earning the group instant cache with fans and tastemakers, "It's Like That/Sucker MCs" was followed by the release Run-D.M.C.'s self-titled debut album in March 1984.
Produced by Larry Smith,
Run-D.M.C. cemented the Hollis trio as the hottest thing in rap and received Gold certification, the first rap album in history to achieve that feat. Featuring standout cuts like "Rockbox," "Jam Master Jay" and "Hollis Crew (Krush-Groove 2)," Run-D.M.C. is considered one the definitive rap albums all-time and laid the foundation for one the most legendary careers in hip-hop.
To celebrate this landmark release,
The Boombox took a trip down memory lane and picked out 15 the most iconic lyrics from Run-D.M.C.'s debut that have stood the test time. 1
"Hard times spreading just like the flu/Watch out homeboy, don't let it catch you/P-p-p-prices go up, don't let your pocket go down/When you got short money you're stuck on the ground"
Michael Ochs Archives 2
"For all you sucker MC's perpetratin' a fraud/Your rhymes are cold wack and keep the crowd cold bored/You're the kind guy that girl ignored/I'm drivin' a Caddy, you fixin' a Ford/My name is Joseph Simmons but my middle name's Ward/And when I'm rockin on the mic, you should all applaud"
Michael Ochs Archives 3
"Because the rhymes I say, sharp as a nail/Witty as can be and not for sale/Always funky fresh, could never be stale/Took a test to become an MC and didn't fail/I couldn't wait to demonstrate/All the super def rhymes that I create/I'm a wizard a word, that's what you heard/And anything else is quite absurd" - Run & D.M.C.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty s 4
"We bake a little cake with Duncan Hines/And never wear the vest they call the Calvin Kleins/'Cause Calvin Klein's no friend mine/Don't want nobody's name on my behind/Lee on my legs, sneakers on my feet/D by my side and Jay with the beat" - Run
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty s 5 "Jam Master Jay" Run-D.M.C.
"J-a-y are the letters his name/Cutting and scratching are the aspects his game/So check out the Master as he cuts these jams/And look at us with the mics in our hands/Then take a count, 1 2 3/Jam Master Jay, Run-D.M.C" - Run & D.M.C.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty s 6 "Hollis Crew (Krush-Groove 2)" Run-D.M.C.
"Cool chief rocker, I don't drink vodka/But keep a microphone inside my locker/Go to school everyday, on the side makin pay/Cause I'm rockin on the mic until the break day"
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty s 7 "Hollis Crew (Krush-Groove 2)" Run-D.M.C.
"Hey, they used to call me Easy Dee/Cause I rapped on the mic so easily/But now they call me D.M.C/(He's) the Emcee the party/The D's for doin it all the time/The M's for the rhymes that are all mine/The C's for cool, cool as can be/(And why you wear those glasses?) So I can see" - D.M.C.
Hulton Archive/Getty s 8 "Sucker M.C.'s (Krush-Groove 1)" Run-D.M.C.
"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 f 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 car, and bubble bath" - Run
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty s 9 "Sucker M.C.'s (Krush-Groove 1)" Run-D.M.C.
"I got a big long Caddy not like a Seville/And written right on the side it reads 'Dressed to Kill'/So if you see me cruisin girls just a-move or step aside/There ain't enough room to fit you all in my ride/It's on a, ah first come, first serve basis/Coolin out girl, take you to the def places/One a kind and for your people's delight/And for you sucker MC, you just ain't right" - Run
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty s 10 "Sucker M.C.'s (Krush-Groove 1)" Run-D.M.C.
"I'm D.M.C. in the place to be/I go to St. John's University/And since kindergarten I acquired the knowledge/And after 12th grade I went straight to college/I'm light skinned, I live in Queens/And I love eatin chicken and collard greens/I dress to kill, I love the style/I'm an MC you know who's versatile" D.M.C.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty s 11 "It's Like That" Run-D.M.C.
"Unemployment at a record high/People coming, people going, people born to die/Don't ask me, because I don't know why/But it's like that, and that's the way it is/People in the world tryin to make ends meet/You try to ride car, train, bus, or feet/I said you got to work hard, you want to compete/It's like that, and that's the way it is" - Run & D.M.C.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty s 12 "It's Like That" Run-D.M.C.
"When you feel you fail sometimes it hurts/For a meaning in life is why you search/Take the bus or the train, drive to school or the church/It's like that, and that's the way it is/Here's another point in life you should not miss/Do not be a fool who's prejudiced/Because we're all written down on the same list/It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is" - Run & D.M.C.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty s 13
"Everyone was treated on an equal basis/No matter what colors, religions or races/We weren't afraight to show our faces/It was cool to chill in foreign places" - Run & D.M.C.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty s 14
"Heard that they said that it's rainin' men/But the fer that I make, it won't be made again/You don't have to write, you don't have to call/It's a one-time fer for nothing at all/And there's no red tape, I don't make it hard/You don't need cash money or a Master Card/I got easy terms, and a lay-away/But I need a quick decision, and I need it today" - Run & D.M.C.
David Greedy/Getty s
"I'm gonna give you everything that you ever need/If you need a pint blood, then I'll even bleed/If you're lookin for a car, I will buy you two/And if you're lookin for a pet, I'll buy a kangaroo/If you need a vacation, we can fly the world/And you'll know I'll never look at another girl/I'm a single-minded man, and my mind is set/You're the lady the '80s that I'm gonna get" - Run & D.M.C.