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The Thursday Throwback Track - Episode 180: Run-D.M.C. & "The Power of Repetition (Everlast

Welcome to WEEK 180 of 4T! (Video Episode #6) Run-D.M.C. – Run-D.M.C. (1984)

Can’t Ignore This Any Longer

There are albums that shake the earth. Everyone’s got at least one that, after you listen to it, your world can never be the same. Of the couple dozen that changed my existence, this one here I just can’t ignore any longer. I’ve been sifting through my LP collection these past months, pulling out releases at random, and I knew I couldn’t get to this one until I was ready.

I had three copies of Run-D.M.C.’s debut album. Anyone old enough to remember that period can probably guess why. For everyone else, here’s the deal. I was a DJ for years, back when you had to carry crates and two turntables and two cassette players and a mixer and a mic and all that. My partner, Mike Smith, and I DJed a bunch of parties & dances, even made actual non-metaphorical mixtapes. We also loved to perform ourselves (you heard us last Saturday doing an original rap song), and our two go-to bands to cover were the Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C. (who toured together and were actually quite good friends for a while). If we just wanted to play the tracks, we used one good copy of the album. If we wanted to mix them, we needed a second copy to do the scratching – which in my case unfortunately led to me ACTUALLY SCRATCHING the vinyl. (I wasn’t winning any hip-hop awards.) If we wanted to PERFORM them, we needed the instrumental versions, which back then they sold in certain stores where DJs would buy shit from. (Mike & I often went to Chestnut Street in Philly to get our stuff.) So three copies.

And it was appropriate that I owned that many of this album. When it came out, my entire neighborhood went crazy. There was the dude who was amazing at popping & locking. Then there were the dudes who could memorize and rap all the lyrics to all the songs. That was my brother & me. I think I was Run and he was D.M.C. We had our favorite cuts for sure, but basically we could perform the whole album front to back.

I had gotten into rap (later AKA hip-hop) before – “Apache”, Kurtis Blow, “Planet Rock”, etc. – but when this album came out, it sealed the deal. From then on, hip-hop was a part of my life and my musical development. I started writing rap lyrics when I was a teen, and hip-hop as a genre – or at least a production influence – has been a part of my go-to suite ever since. The song I shared last Saturday is possibly the earliest recorded evidence, and the song below from this year is the latest:

Relistening to this album, I can tell you I ain’t picking favorites. The whole thing rocks. But if I HAD TO, I’d pick “It’s Like That” & “Sucker MCs”.

Do you have a favorite hip-hop artist, old school or not? Do you like hip-hop at all? Discuss dammit!

And hey, don’t forget to check out our SnerkShirts!

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