The genius of two musical genres merged into one: Rap and Rock and the magical video that is “Walk This Way” – Aerosmith Ft. Run DMC.
1986. Hip-hop and rap were crossing over to mainstream. Run DMC needed a new hit. Rick Rubin (American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records) suggested sampling Aerosmith´s “Walk this Way”. The result? It was the first rap song to get into the Billboard 100. And today, it is music video history.
RUN-DMC – Walk This Way
The song was written by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, and it was the second single from the album Toys in the Attic. The song reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1977 (great year, the year of the Serpent, and the year that I was born in). Read what Steven Tyler has to say about writing the song. Bellow is the original song, which sure, has something, but is small cookies next to the revamped Run DMC version.
Aerosmith – Walk This Way – Toys In The Attic
RUN DMC´s street style shook the rap environment of the time (dominated back then by the Cold Crush, Grandmaster Flash and some Dj´s). Their manager Russell Simmons (Run’s brother), was savvy and helped them become the first rap group to ever go gold. They were also Adidas star hip hop promoters.
MY ADIDAS – The Music Video by RUN DMC
My Adidas by Run-D.M.C 1986
Now me and my adidas do the illest things
We like to stomp out pimps with diamond rings
We slay all suckers who perpetrate
And lay down law from state to state
We travel on gravel, dirt road or street
I wear my adidas when I rock the beat
On stage, front page, every show I go
It’s adidas on my feet high top or low
Apparently RUN DMC didn’t know who Aerosmith were, and they were not very convinced of doing the song. Tyler and Perry went to record with them after Rubin called them, but they were not aware they had a hit on their hands. Actually, the song was so big it revitalized the band´s career. The video was directed by Jon Small. It shows metaphorically and literally the wall there was between rock and rap and how it was torn down. It was the first MTV appearance for Steven Tyler and Joe Perry who then became regulars at the channel.
While doing research for this post I learned something FANTASTICALLY COOL and that is that Perry had brought along his guitar but did not bring a bass. Some kids that were hanging around the studio lent them the bass. Those kids turned out to be the Beastie Boys! We love the song, love the video, love both bands but we will leave you with this version of the now Reverend Run on Sesame Street just in case you wanted something different.