Wow 25 years ago today an album came out that changed my life. Growing up in Queens, Run-DMC was simply the shit to me. They could do no wrong. The word idolize doesn’t even begin to explain my devotion to them. Besides Michael Jackson, they were the first music act that I was truly a fanatic of. Every record they put out was life-changing to me. “It’s Like That.” “Sucker MC’s.” I remember riding in a car back and forth from baseball practice with my best friend Frank Valentin reciting the lyrics to “Rock Box” as loud as possible. We just couldn’t believe someone was rhyming over guitars. Guitars!
Back then, Run-DMC’s success was hip-hop’s success. They had the entire culture on their back and not only did they carry it, they broke the doors down to the mainstream and made it clear that hip-hop wasn’t a fad. And it all began with this self-titled debut. I used to stare at the album cover like a mental patient. Why was Run written over the top of a picture of DMC and vice versa? Why was Jam Master Jay’s picture on the back of the album when they made a whole song about him? How could they make such a mistake I thought? It bothered me. Ha!