Friday, March 1, 2013

120 Raising Hell- Hip Hop that Rocks

Album: Raising Hell
Artist: Run DMC
Year: 1986
Genre: Hip Hop


  1. Peter Piper
  2. It's Tricky
  3. My Adidas
  4. Walk This Way
  5. Is It Live
  6. Perfection
  7. Hit It Run
  8. Raising Hell
  9. You Be Illin'
  10. Dumb Girl
  11. Son of Byford
  12. Proud to Be Black

Good news everyone, seriously good news. Apparently this is the second highest placed Hip Hop album on the countdown which means after this I only have to listen to one more rap album in my immediate future (and possibly for the rest of my life). It's great news for me and also good news for you dear reader because you won't have to endure my continued efforts to find new ways of saying "I don't understand rap and I don't like it." It's a huge load of all our minds.

The other piece of good news is that this is definitely one of the best rap albums I've ever heard.

Raising Hell has none of the things I really hate about rap music. Run DMC don't appear to be carrying on a pointless feud with someone I don't care about, they're not telling me just how tough they are and how they'd like to shoot law enforcement officers, they're not detailing all the unpleasant things they'd like to do to the bottoms of women they know and they're not glorifying a lifestyle that I just can't understand. Granted they've written a song that's entirely about how wonderful Adidas footwear is which I couldn't fully get behind (It's a shoe. It's just a shoe). But at least it's stuff that I can listen to without making the same face I make when changing nappies.

But Raising Hell isn't just good because of the things it omits, there is also a lot of good added as well. The missing ingredient that Run DMC threw into the hip hop mix was rock. Rock improves most things. I cook better food with rock, walks are more pleasant with rock, discussions are much better with a backing of rock. Rock is good. Run DMC realised this and decided to add some rock to their music and  started producing Hip Hop that had guitar riffs and even solos. It had provided them with a degree of success on King of Rock, their previous album, which was the first Hip Hop album to go gold but they amped up the rock on Raising Hell and were rewarded with Rap's first ever platinum album.

The most famous track on Hell is definitely Walk This Way which is one of music's most unusual cover success stories. Run DMC decided to do a version of Aerosmith's big hit but rather than simply rap it up they invited the original artists to come into the studio and join them. The famed video clip makes the collaboration look like a battle of some kind but the truth is that the final effort is collaborative and complimentary. Joe Perry's riff and soloing works extremely well with Run DMC's rapping which bounces nicely off Tyler's trademark scream. The end result sounds like a perfect match and it helped revive Aerosmith's career as it further bolstered Run DMC's.

There's a lot to enjoy on Raising Hell. Calling it my favourite Hip Hop album might be damning it with faint praise but it's praise none-the-less.

Highlight: Walk this Way
Lowlight: My Adidas (it's just a shoe!)

Influenced by: Grandmaster Flash and Aerosmith
Influenced: Any hip hop that rocks

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "This CD is flawless all the way through and inspired me to start the hottest new rap group in Millard at the time. Run B.R.A.(Burns, Rich, Abs) was just off the hook and hit home with the under 15 set. We had hit after hit with songs like, "I can't wait until I'm 16", "Hooking up at the roller rink" and "Grab my butt you crazy woman!!". These standards were requested time after time at birthday parties. We would play retirement homes, Copier repair shops and the Sapp Brothers Ballroom. It was always standing room only and many fights broke out over which one of us was the hottest. We were all extremely smooth, but when I laid the smooth as yogurt voice out there, the ladies were throwing undergarments at me. By saying that, I'm not implying that Burns and Jabs were not smooth as well, they hooked up after every show too and are still smoother than you, the reader, could ever dream of being. To sum this up, your chances of being like us are minimal, but you can buy this CD to make yourself feel a little like us."

-I'm assuming none of this is actually true but it's very entertaining. Copier Repair Shops! Genius.

So did this raise hell, raise a smile or raise your shackles? Let me know below.

1 comment:

  1. David, reading your review makes me want listen to the album. i will tell you how i go. and that amazon review....Just brilliant.