Run-D.M.C. was a hip hop group founded by the late Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell that included Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels. The group had an enormous impact on the development of hip hop through the 1980s and is credited with breaking hip hop into mainstream music. The three members of Run-D.M.C. grew up in Hollis, Queens, New York, USA.
The band signed a record deal with Profile Records in 1983, and Run’s older brother, Russell “Rush” Simmons, signed Run-D.M.C. to his newly formed management company Rush Productions that same year. On their first major United States tour, the group set new fads by performing dressed in baggy black clothing, Adidas Sneakers (always with shoelaces removed), and Fedora hats.
Their mainstream success continued as the group performed at the famous Live Aid concert in 1985, and their 1986 album ‘’Raising Hell’’ became the highest-selling rap album in history (this record was later broken as rap gained more popularity with artists like Notorious B.I.G. and Eminem), reaching number 3 on the ‘’Billboard magazine’’ album charts and selling over 3 million copies. The album featured the famous cover version of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”, a rap-rock collaboration performed with Aerosmith members Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. The song was the first hip-hop track to make the Top 10 on Billboard’s singles charts.
Run-D.M.C. were renowned for breaking new ground in rap music. “It’s Like That” and “Sucker MC’s” (1983) were the first hip hop tracks that relied on electronic beats and nothing else. “Peter Piper” (1986) was the first rap record in which the DJ cut up a record (in this case, “Take Me to the Mardi Gras” by jazz musician Bob James. Run-D.M.C. became the first rap act with a platinum album and multi-platinum album, as well as the first rappers to appear on the cover of ‘’Rolling Stone’’ magazine, to receive a Grammy nomination and to appear on Saturday Night Live] and American Bandstand.
After a period of lackluster commercial success after the ‘’Raising Hell’’ album, the group made a comeback in 1993 with their album ‘’Down With the King’‘, which made Billboard’s Top 10 for album and the Pete Rock assisted single “Down With the King”.
Jam-Master Jay was shot and killed in October 2002, leading Run-D.M.C. to announce their retirement.
For a complete biography and the most up-to-date information on Run DMC, visit www.RunDMC.com.