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Meaning of ‘Walk This Way’ by ‘Run–D.M.C.’ feat. Aerosmith

Released: 1986 • Features: Aerosmith

“Walk This Way,” by hip-hop pioneers Run-D.M.C., featuring rock band Aerosmith, is an era-defining track that marries rock and roll to hip-hop in a joyous union. It talks about adolescent experiences and sexual awakenings, exploring the nuances of youth, rebellion, and attraction in a candidly humorous way.

In the opening lines, the song dives straight into the world of adolescent lust. “Backseat lover that’s always undercover” refers to secretive, hidden romantic liaisons, often a hallmark of teenage romance. The line about talking to his dad and being told “You ain’t seen nothing’ ’til you’re down on a muffin” is a tongue-in-cheek reference to discovering sexual experiences.

Throughout the verses, Run-D.M.C. continue recounting stories from their youthful escapades, filled with flirtation and exploration. The line “I met a cheerleader, was a real young bleeder” uses “bleeder” as old-school slang partly meaning an attractive woman and partly, going with the theme of the song, as a reference to adolescent innocence.

“See-saw swingin’ with the boys in school” and “Singin’ hey, diddle, diddle, with the kitty in the middle” tongue-and-cheek metaphors for carefree, youthful energy and the insouciance of school days. “So I took a big chance at the high school dance with a missy, who was ready to play” vividly illustrates the boldness and audacity that often accompanies young love or infatuation.

The hook of the track, “Walk this way, talk this way,” is an invitation to follow their lead, influenced by the allure and character of the person they’re attracted to. The repeated “Just give me a kiss” is a playful demand that adds a touch of cheeky charm to the track.

The lines “School girl sleazy with a classy kinda sassy, little skirt hangin’ way up her knee” continue the exploration into youthful attraction and flirtation, while the reference to “three young ladies in the school gym locker” and “next-door neighbor’s daughter” serves as commentary on the common, adolescent fantasies about attractive women in mundane, everyday spaces.

In conclusion, “Walk this Way” is a vibrant account of teenage romantic escapades wrapped up in a memorable rock/hip-hop fusion. Its audacious and playful lyrics capture the defiance and turbulence of adolescence, while its breakthrough fusion of hip-hop and rock marked an important milestone in the broadening appeal of hip-hop.

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