Tuesday, January 24, 2012

240. Run DMC. A lot like Lord of the Rings... sort of.



Album: Run DMC
Aritst: Run DMC
Year: 1984
Genre: Hip Hop.

Tracks
  1. Hard Times
  2. Rock Box
  3. Jam-Master Jay
  4. Scratchin'
  5. Hollis Crew (Krush-Groove 2)
  6. Sucker M.C.'s (Krush-Groove 1)
  7. Live at the Disco Fever
  8. It's like That
  9. Wake Up
  10. 30 Days
  11. Jay's Game

Ever read Lord of the Rings? Chances are a lot of you out there have. I read (most of) it when I was in my late teens and I have to say I was kind of underwhelmed. For a start there's a lot of singing. There are more songs in the trilogy than most albums in the top 500. There are also lots of cliches. Lord of the Rings is just dripping with fantasy cliches: surly dwarves, wise old trees, mysterious elves, unwilling heroes made to discover inner strengths, faithful sidekicks and Oh No! He's dead! That guy died and we're all sad- oh wait he's not really dead and we're all happy! Hooray!

The point is that although it's full of fantasy tropes that we're all tired of, they weren't weary and well worn back when Tolkien wrote them. They became cliches later but The Lord of The Rings is where they started (except that whole "coming back from the dead thing" which wasn't even original when Jesus did it). Lesser imitators took Tolkien's original ideas and turned them into cliches.

Run DMC suffer in the same way. Their style of rap was a breath of fresh air when it arrived and helped create the blueprint for everything that came afterwards. The problem is the blueprint wasn't especially difficult to replicate. Lesser artists from the world of rap latched onto the prototype and then community service announcements, advertisers and teachers jumped on the band wagon too and suddenly rap became the preferred medium for getting a message across to anyone under the age of thirty.

While listening to Run DMC it's hard to look past the tired cliches and appreciate the fact that they helped originate the art form. They might be serious artists but their music has been destroyed by the rapping animated figures I had to endure in my childhood who wore a cap backwards and told me not to play with matches.

Run DMC and Tolkien are similar in two important respects- they've both been sullied by poor imitations (and I really don't like their songs).

Influenced by: Grandmaster Flash
Influenced: Rap

Highlight: Rock Box
Lowlight: Scratchin

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: SUP I LOVE POPSECRET BUTTERED MOVIE POPCORN. HEY TOBY,TRENT,MIKE,OR ANY OF MY FRIENDS WHO SEE THIS. ME AND BECHTEL WILL RAP AT SCHOOL ON DEC. 17,1999. go run-dmc. I LOVE MxPx.

-well in this persons's defence, facebook wasn't around in 1999 so amazon customer reviews had to do.

So do you enjoy a brisk run or would you rather take public (enemy) transport? Let me know below.

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