Legendary rap troupe Run Dmc have announced that they'll be reforming for a festival appearance later this year. The group will be playing Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas that runs between November 2nd to November 4th, the first shows that Joseph Simmons - now known as REV RUN -and Darryl 'DMC' MCDaniels will have played since DJ Jam Master Jay was killed in 2002. According to the organisers, some of the proceeds from the festival will be going to the JMJ Foundation For Music which was set up in the wake of Jay's death to provide access to art for youths. We're excited about this at Contactmusic towers, so below are five defining career moments in Run Dmc's history.
1. ROCK BOX APPEARS ON GROUP'S SELF TItLED DEBUT ALBUM IN 1984
If Beastie Boys are often given the credit for being among the first to mix rap with rock to such a huge response, then Run Dmc were right there with them, 'Rock Box' seeing Simmons and Dmc spitting rhymes over a crunching rock riff. Their hugely popular smash hit 'Walk This Way' with Aerosmith may have truly cemented their reputation as rap-rock crossover artists, but it was 'Rock Box' that blazed the trail.
2. 'MY ADIDAS' RELEASED IN 1986
Run Dmc were trailblazers beyond just their music. This track, released as the first single from 1986's 'Raising Hell' LP, was a homage to not just them becoming the first hip-hop group to sign an endorsement deal, but a reminder of just how the group had changed the very aesthetic of hip-hop. Early pioneers like Grandmaster Flash and the SUGAR HILL GANG still bore a strong resemblance to the funk and disco artists of the 70s, but Run Dmc's emergence in the 80s saw them shun the extravagance of such outfits and dress in a more causal, every-man style that came to dominate the exploding hip-hop world throughout the late 80s and into the 90s as artists saw the benefits of attempting to keep it real.
3. SHOOT 'WALK THIS WAY' VIDEO WItH Aerosmith
One of the iconic videos of the MTV generation, that moment when Steven Tyler knocks down the wall between his band and Run Dmc remains one of the most symbolic moments in 80s music, representing a high profile unification of both rap and rock as well as black and white music worlds. Both video and song had a profound influence on many bands of the time, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis incorporating a rap style into his lyrics, whilst groups like Anthrax and, of course, Rage Against The Machine grew to huge acclaim by marrying hip-hop with heavier metal styles.
4. 'RAISING HELL' BECOMES FIRST RAP ALBUM TO CRACK BILLBOARD 200
Rap and hip-hop had been creeping out of the underground throughout the 80s and was certainly bigger than a mere sideshow at this point, but it was Run Dmc who made it a truly pop culture phenomenon as, aided by the aforementioned 'My Adidas' and 'Walk This Way', they released an album littered with catchy vocal and melodic hooks that couldn't help but attract the attention of the wider US market. Released in July of 1986, the album went in at number three, eventually going three times platinum and opened up the group to worldwide fame.
5. Jason Nevins REMIXES 'It'S LIKE THAT'
By 1997 many viewed Run Dmc as a spent force, with inter-band differences constantly disrupting the group throughout the 90s and seeing them lose momentum as an angrier, harder hip-hop came to take over from the trio's more pacifist stylings. However they enjoyed one last hurrah when producer Jason Nevins took their very early 1983 single 'It's Like That' and turned into a dance floor classic that lit up Europe that Spring, going on to top the charts of several countries including the UK. It provided the group with their last major hit. Five years later tragedy struck when Jam Master Jay was shot dead at his recording studio in Queen's New York and Simmons and Dmc agreed to retire the name . until now.