RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Wednesday, July 25

EWA100 - #29. Run-D.M.C. - Sucker MC's

29. Run-D.M.C. - Sucker M.C.s (Krush Groove 1) (Profile. 1984. From the LP Run-D.M.C.)

Raven Mack: Here is what I originally wrote: "Run-DMC, for me, is like what Mike said about Illmatic - there's no real distinguishing their shit completely. I mean, when they were on top of things in the mid-'80s, there was nobody even close to them, so all the big ass songs they had from then sort of blend together in my mind as just them destroying everything else that was out there.
Seriously though, Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons were on some hip hop illuminati bullshit back then. I mean, I don't know if Rubin was even around yet or had anything to do with Run-DMC, who were two more than competent MCs already, spicing their shit with some rock guitar cuts and just generally fucking the world up, being to that point hip hop was on some synthesized perfect beat bullshit.
It's sad that two dudes couldn't wear matching porkpie hats and victimize imaginary MCs lyrically any more in the rappitty music. I mean, even that "Down With the King" comeback in the early '90s was kinda dated sounding and halfway pathetic, but another fifteen years later? Run-DMC style is obsolete, regardless of how much sentimentality R.I.P. Jammaster Jay thoughts can give you. I read an article about old NFL players who are living off like $12,000 a year now, all crippled and shit, and it makes me wonder what happens to old rappers? I mean, you know the DMC dude is paid because he's Russell Simmons' brother, so they're probably doing yoga together on black sand beaches in high-priced coves Hawaii-way. But what about Reverend Run?
Also, I have never seen Krush Groove. Some may think this makes me not properly educated to be speaking on some Run-DMC, or even old school hip hop in general, but I prefer to think it makes me someone who's not a fag who watched a lot of stupid ass movies. I'd probably watch it nowadays, but it's even stupider-looking to be renting a fuckin' Krush Groove VHS from the sun-faded videotape section at the back end of the video store than it would've been to be some chump-ass kid sitting there watching that shit back in the day. So I'll let it slide."
Then Mike called me on having the dudes mixed up and being full of shit on a couple of matters, and I was gonna do a third part to the blurb, but that would destroy the format we've stuck to all the way through on this endless jaunt down memory lane, so I decided to just rewind a couple paragraphs and come completely clean...
I could give half a fuck about Run-DMC. Seriously. When I was like 12, "You Be Illin'" was hilarious, and that Christmas song is funny in my mind, but every year when the local indie station plays it, the only part I like is the first two lines where "Hollis, Queens" rhymes with "collard greens". And now that I'm an old rap nerd, I know you're supposed to allow Run and DMC's dicks double penetrate my hip hop elevated mind, but I just don't get into them. I like that bell-heavy breakbeat from that one joint that every DJ ever has sense enough to use to this day, and I like to use my children's names in place of Mary to say "Gypsy Gypsy, why you buggin'?" when my kids won't pick up their damn Polly Pockets all over the kitchen floor. But I don't give a fuck about Run-DMC. This song could be replaced with any of like eight other songs by them, so we could have our token Run-DMC-we're-not-completely-oblivious-to-common-rap-dork-consensus-opinion song on the list.

Mike Dikk: Raven’s write up is filled with so many falsehoods and blasphemies, I’m not sure if he’s for real or if it’s some kind of joke I don’t get. First of all, I am around six years younger than Raven, so I came up on rap the same time Def Jam was coming up and getting popular, so I missed the initial wave of stuff like Grandmaster Flash and all those groups with 3s, 4s and 5s in their name. So I’m coming from a whole different perspective when it comes to Run D.M.C., and they were actually one of my least favorite groups when I got into rap music, mainly because of the annoying “Walk This Way” song. Def Jam originated that concept of making a corny radio-friendly single to lure the masses into buying the album. Those are the songs that always stick out for me when I think of Run DMC, and it makes me subconsciously hate them.
Secondly, Rubin was definitely around during the creation of Run D.M.C. I highly doubt they would have had so many guitar noises if it wasn’t for him, since that’s kind of like his trademark. Well, now his trademark is looking like a fat slob in UGG boots and sweatpants and trying to resurrect the careers of has-been acts.
Also, Run is Russell’s brother. If you watch his reality TV show, you’ll see he is very well off. I assume Russell and Run own Run DMC’s publishing. Anytime you catch an interview with DMC, he’s looking real broke on some anonymous basketball court somewhere in Queens. It always makes me feel sorry for him. I’m not sure if he secretly has a ton of money and he chooses not to show it, or if the Simmons brothers really fucked him over. I know he had a drug problem for a while, but who doesn’t?
If it’s any indication by the circumstances of his death, Jam Master Jay was keeping it gully even into his twilight years, so I imagine he wasn’t exactly well off either. Regardless, when you are the second most universally known rap group of all time (behind the Beastie Boys), there is no reason you should be looking poor on television or getting involved in shady alleged drug deals and ending up murdered. So if the Simmons brothers really did walk away (or, Walk This Way) with all the money from Run DMC and they couldn’t kick back a chunk of dough to the other guys, then they are quite possibly the biggest douchebags in rap music.
Lastly, not seeing Krush Groove? That’s just weird. I’m not the type to hype up all those old rap movies. In fact, I think Wild Style kind of sucks and that’s usually the most celebrated one. I do think Krush Groove is a lot better than any of those other movies (besides Disorderlies) though. It’s like $6 at the Wal-Marts, so you should do yourself a favor and check it out, Raven.
Okay, now we can move onto the song. When I listened to this to get in preparation of writing this (which was now around six years ago), I assumed it would be one of the many Run DMC songs I don’t really remember. The only time I hear Run DMC is by accident. I would never, ever listen to them on purpose. I was surprised to find out that I knew DMC’s verse word for word, which made me remember that when I was very young (like single digits, not 15), me and my friend Kenny would dress up like rappers and “perform” this song for his family. I got seven notches more gay just by admitting that.
Speaking of performing Run DMC songs, when I was in 6th grade, my class had to do this mandatory talent show thing for Christmas. My teacher, who was pretty young, thought it would be cute if we did an act to “Christmas in Hollis” by Run DMC. Basically, two kids would pretend to be Run DMC and lip synch the words, while the rest of us stood behind them and held up pictures we drew and colored ourselves to coincide with the words being said in the song. There was an INXS video at the time that used a gimmick somewhat like this and my teacher, being a total fruit, thought it was a cool idea.
I’d like to say this was some kind of pivotal mortifying moment of my life, but it wasn’t. I remember not liking the clothes my mom bought me for the show. It was some kind of velour striped turtle neck and husky boy jeans. I also remember this one girl who was from one of those black French speaking countries and could barely speak English, had to draw Snow White for one of her signs, and she made Snow White black. Even though 80% of my class was black, they still thought she was really weird for doing that. That concludes the story of my life with Run DMC.

At some point, Raven went back and rewrote some of his shit because I called him out as being possibly only an Intermediate Whiteboy instead of an Expert Whiteboy, so if some of my stuff I said doesn't make sense now, it's all his fault. While I'm here, I'd also like to add that I recently saw Michael Ian Black and Michael Schowalter do some stand up comedy live and in person. Michael Schowalter did this whole bit using old pictures from when he was a kid. He said he grew up in a pretty well-off family and then went to summer camp and got into rap music. The pictures showed his drastic change from dork clothes to sideways hats and big shirts. He then said, "We would listen to all the classics by such groups as Run D.M.C. and... Run D.M.C.". This doesn't really have anything to do with anything, but I just thought it was funny.

Download: Run-D.M.C. - Sucker MC's

There's a real video for this, but I'm putting up a "Live Performance" from Graffiti Rock where they "battle" Kool Moe Dee & Special K (Treacherous 3) after the song.

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