Live Soundtrack: Run-D.M.C - Run-D.M.C
Last week Elke and I were at an event of the City Museum of New York, which featured two well-known artists and designer, who started their career in the New York graffiti scene in the early 80s. One of them, Cey Adams, came to work for DefJam and designed covers for today iconic hip hop records. Back then, hip hop was rather an underground movement and not the multi-billion mainstream industry it is today. One of the upcoming acts at that time was Run-D.M.C from Queens.
I didn’t live in New York, but in a small city in Germany, which featured a large American garrison (we’re talking the height of the cold war time here), so we had access to the latest music from overseas, which was handed over and traded on cassettes. Then there was the summer of ‘83. I was on a summer camp with my school and we were lazily hanging out in the sun, listening to a boom box playing a cassette with tracks like Newcleus’ Jam on it, Man Parrish’s Hip Hop Be Bop (Don’t Stop) and also It’s Like That by Run-D.M.C.
All of them could be good for a Life Soundtrack, but It’s Like That was arguable the song with the greatest impact. I loved the beat, the minimalistic instrumentation and the fact that is was so different from everything else. It was obscure music, nobody knew the band and I it took a while until the record was available, on import only for twice the normal price.
Today, of course, this album is regarded as one of the trailblazer for modern hip hop, taking a turn to a darker, heaver mood. Many of Run-D.M.C’s subsequent releases became major hits, for example their slightly annoying collaboration Walk This Way with Aerosmith. It’s Like that hadn’t seen its biggest time back then either: it became an international number one hit in a remixed version by Jason Nevins.