Monday, April 5, 2010

Run-DMC - Raising Hell


Of all the hip hop albums I own, Raising Hell is probably my favourite of them all.  For me, it's as close to perfection as you could hope to get.  Even if you don't like hip hop, listening to this will elevate you.  Its simplicity, its massive rhythms and sharp, shaped MCing, coupled with the biggest crossover hit of its genre in 'Walk This Way' (and doing Aerosmith a huge favour at the same time), guarantee its iconic status.

Having done The Ramones yesterday and following up with this is is a task of sweet, musical pleasure.  Similarly driven and similarly maverick, both bands stood on the edge of their prospective peer groups but ended up showing 'em all what it's really about. Like The Ramones, Run-DMC not only defined the sound but the look and lifestyle as well. 

As much as I liked 'Walk This Way' when I first heard it, this is merely the sugary icing on a very tasty cake. It is tracks like 'It's Tricky', 'Raising Hell' and 'You Be Illin', heavily relying on samples cut with huge beats, that are the real stars of this set.  You can blame these songs for every crap MC trying to rhyme over rock riffs.  The difference is Run-DMC do it right every time.



It's fun and all, and I do like that this is hip hop done smart.  But just like the Beastie Boys, I prefer their songs dropped into a DJ set. You see, I just can't listen to someone shouting at me, song after song after song.  It literally gives me a headache.

It doesn't help that the hip hop album that's just a short jump away alphabetically is my favourite (and hopefully we'll review this later) Neneh Cherry's Raw Like Sushi.  It's so easy just to take that jump... and the shouting stops.  It's so lovely when it stops!


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