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Run DMC - Official

Def Jam.com


It would seem nearly impossible to retell the history of the Beastie Boys without mentioning Run DMC. Run DMC, which is comprised of Joe "Run" Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, and Jam Master Jay, was never a Def Jam group. However, they were managed by Run's brother Russell Simmons as part of the Rush Entertainment stable of artists.

In 1986, the Beastie Boys were slated to open for Run DMC on the Raising Hell tour. It was at this point that DJ Hurricane left the Run DMC crew and became DJ for the Beastie Boys. The tour lived up to its name when concert violence erupted in Los Angeles. A dark media shadow was cast upon the remainder of the tour. By the winter of 1987, Licensed to Ill had begun to gain momentum on the charts. To further promote the album and push sales even higher, Run DMC and the Beastie Boys embarked on the Together Forever Tour.

The Run DMC and Beastie Boys connection is far more than just a few months of life on the road together. For example, the song "Slow and Low" was originally a Run DMC track that was lyrically adapted to work into the Beastie Boys' release. More than one journalist made the comparison that the Beastie Boys were just a white version of Run DMC. Whether that was fair to either act or not was never a journalistic concern.

The Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill has out sold any Run DMC release to this date. Although Run DMC still has a loyal following, gone are the days of them headlining concerts over the Beastie Boys. Both acts shared the same stage during the 1999 Tibetan Freedom Concert. Fans of both groups were excited when the guest star packed Run DMC album Crown Royal was rumored to feature a long overdue song between the two groups. Supposedly Adam Horovitz pulled out of the project, when he came to the decision that the album was going to turn out very different than how he thought it originally was going to.

Sadly, on October 30th, 2002 Jam Master Jay, born Jason Mizell, was murdered while working in a studio. The Beastie Boys and Run DMC performed a concert in Las Vegas to benefit Jay's family thereafter.

Rick Rubin Jane Scarpantoni