RUN DMC’s RAISING HELL: Spotlight Album

Run-DMC-Raising-HellRaising Hell wasn’t only the landmark CD for RUN DMC, it literally changed music history forever. Coming off the success of King Of Rock, RUN DMC took on tradition and scored the first rap album to go multi-platinum and the first to hit the Top 10 on the Pop Album Charts. They paved the way for Aerosmith’s comeback (Walk This Way) and opened the door to the Beastie Boys who had the first #1 rap album, Licensed To Ill. Raising Hell is an essential hip-hop album and a time capsule of the best of 80’s rap music. For the first time, you had a DJ scratching hard rock records as the beat for two of the most brilliant MC’s to ever spit hip hop rhymes.

RunDMCYou can actually argue that “Walk This Way” is one of the weaker tracks on the album. Essential hip hop anthems, Peter Piper, My Adidas, It’s Tricky, and You’ll Be Illin’ became the soundtrack of summer parties and boomboxes all over the country. Adidas sneakers, black jackets, and gold chains were flying off the shelf as RUN DMC became the first rap group to truly achieve mainstream commercial and cultural success. Jam Master Jay’s DJ skills influenced a generation of turntable masters to follow and their rightful induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.

raising hell backAn often overlooked special trait about Raising Hell was RUN DMC’s message of unity, anti-drug messages, and commentary on racial differences that stood out for previous rap records. The CD’s last track, Proud To Be Black, and the crossover appeal of their Aerosmith duet projected a spirit of acceptance. MTV was even playing black artists and rap music for the first time on their channel. Raising Hell was the perfect transition album for the 80’s and a genre defining moment in rock history.

“Peter Piper” – 3:25

“It’s Tricky” – 3:03

“My Adidas” – 2:47

“Walk This Way” – 5:17

“Is It Live” – 3:06

“Perfection” – 2:52

“Hit It Run” – 3:10

“Raising Hell” – 5:31

“You Be Illin'” – 3:26

“Dumb Girl” – 3:31

“Son of Byford” – :27

“Proud to Be Black” – 3:14