Hip hop, or not hip hop? Unequivocally, absolutely, yes.
Now that we got that out of the way; let’s travel back in time to the summer of 1984. Not that I recognized it then, but rap music was about to undergo a big change. Prior to their appearance, there wasn’t an act quite like Run-DMC. There were rap groups, for sure, not many or any bigger than Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, or Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force, to name two that preceded Run-DMC on wax. But when these three gentlemen, Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, along with their DJ Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, rap was never the same.
From the way they rapped, to the different style of production, they hit right out of the gate with “It’s Like That.” By the time “Rock Box” was released, the album was a must-have among people my age. I can remember one of my childhood friends walking up and down our street playing the album non-stop on his boombox. It seemed to be a daily occurrence that summer. With it’s “rock” style guitar, “Rock Box” was unlike just about any other rap single heard at that time. And since Michael Jackson had knocked down the wall to get artists of color on MTV, it wasn’t long before the video for the song was added to the channel’s video rotation.
It’s a morning groove of its time, and for all-time. A true rap classic. Enjoy, and I hope you have a great start to the week! And as always, thanks for reading and listening.