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‘Run-D.M.C.’ was the First Hip Hop Album to Be Certified Gold

Run-D.M.C. is one of the greatest hip hop groups of all time, just based off their ground-breaking achievements alone.

Not only were their self-titled debut album, Run-D.M.C., the first rap album to be certified gold, they also pioneered the rap-rock genre when they released “Rock Box” in addition to building on Melle Mel’s socio-political content with “It’s Like That.”

Side note: Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks” was the first rap single to be certified gold.

Coming straight outta Hollis, Queens, Run-D.M.C. presented a tougher, b-boy look than the disco-inspired rappers before them, and represented the changing of the guard from the old school to the new era.

“Our routine was we would get to the studio at 11 am or 12 pm and be done for the day by 3 pm,” Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels recalled in an interview with Okayplayer about the making of the album.

“Jay would stay back with Larry to put his scratching on and do the echoes. If Jay heard something, he would call and tell me, ‘D, you need to come back tomorrow and do your part over because you didn’t say this word right.’ Larry and Jay basically did all the work. We just wrote the songs and laid down the vocals, and we were out.”

With the album’s first single, “It’s Like That” backed by the incredibly hard “Sucker M.C.’s” dropping August 10, 1983, and “Hard Times” released not long after, the trio’s debut album officially came out March 27, 1984.

Featuring the innovation production of the legendary Larry Smith, Run-D.M.C. peaked at number 53 on the Billboard 200, and number 14 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart, and was certified gold by the end of the year on December 17, 1984.

Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels: I realize that it’s a forgotten album because of the success of “Walk This Way,” but if you put the two albums side by side, Run-DMC did what Raising Hell did before Raising Hell was made. This was the precursor and that’s why it’s so important. 

The Making of Run-DMC’s Classic Debut, According to Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels | Okayplayer
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