Run-D.M.C.’s Third Album Will Now Be Raising Hell In The Library Of Congress
In what has seemingly become a yearly tradition, another Hip-Hop album is selected to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. Like last year’s selection of N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton, 2018’s induction is a seminal 1980s Rap LP from a group that shaped music, fashion, and Hip-Hop culture.
Run-D.M.C.’s third album, Raising Hell, now shares the honor releases from N.W.A., Lauryn Hill, and others. For 2018’s class, the Profile Records LP from Rev Run, D.M.C., and the late Jam Master Jay is the only Rap music selected. Each year 25 recordings (music and otherwise) make their way to the library archives. The Queens, New York trio joins a 2018 induction class that includes releases from The Temptations, Harry Belafonte, Fleetwood Mac, Kenny Loggins, and The Miami Sound Machine.
“Recordings, which are expected to reflect the American experience, must be at least 10 years old, though almost everything in the registry’s collection of 500 recordings is older,” explains The Washington Post.
Raising Hell features the singles “My Adidas,” “It’s Tricky,” and “You Be Illin’.” However, Run-D.M.C.’s best-selling studio album is often remembered for its fusion of Rock & Roll and Hip-Hop on “Walk This Way.” At the direction of producer Rick Rubin, reportedly with a heavy hand from Jay (and not before some reluctance from Run-D.M.C.), the growing Hip-Hop superstars teamed with Boston, Massachusetts Rock outfit Aerosmith to revive their hit.
At a time when Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and crew were reportedly battling drug addiction and no charting singles in the ’80s, the collaboration exposed both acts to new audiences. Run-D.M.C. reached Rock and Pop radio playlists. Meanwhile, Aerosmith’s gained new appreciation by some Rap beyond its 12-second introduction. The nine-year-old single had gained previous popularity DJs for its drums as well as its guitar riff for years. “I loved Rap. I used to go looking for drugs on Ninth Avenue and I would go over to Midtown or Downtown and there would be guys on the corner selling cassettes of their music,” Tyler said during a 30-year-retrospective in May 2016. “I’d give them a buck, two bucks, and that was the beginning of me noticing what was going on in New York at the time.”
The experiment worked. The song became Run-D.M.C.’s highest-charting single. Meanwhile, Aerosmith jumped 25 places from their last release on 1987’s Permanent Vacation, nearly entering the Top 10.
The production style of Rubin was a fitting set-up to another 1986 release, the Beastie Boys’ debut, Licensed To Ill, which dropped six months later. That album, embraced by Rock radio, has since been diamond-certified.
Further, “My Adidas” is a record that bonded Hip-Hop culture with true sponsorship dollars. Run-D.M.C. helped brand the German apparel company at a time when other artists were touting Puma, Fila, Nike, and other brands. Adidas compensated the group and has remained in collaboration with Run-D.M.C. into the 2000s. Notably, the brand released a tribute shoe to Jam Master Jay following his 2002 murder.
Last year, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels published his second book, Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide: A Memoir.