Vinyl Vlog 415

Vinyl Vlog 415

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Wednesday, 19 February 2020
COLUMN

Run-DMC
Run-DMC
(Get On Down Records reissue)

photo: turntablelab.com

Whenever we get a chance we like to keep it local here on Ground Control. We do it with our bands and we do it with our labels. I’m Boston based and how Get on Down has escaped me for all these years, I’ll never know. The best part is that I found out about them through word of mouth from my local record store in Somerville called Index Records. Well, my record (no pun intended) with rap and hip-hop is spotty at best so maybe it’s not THAT big a surprise. But a quality label like them definitely needs to be represented, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do in the next couple of Vinyl Vlogs.

One of the many things Get on Down does so well is reissuing classics, and when it comes to Hip Hop, maybe nothing’s as classic as Run-DMC’s first record. It’s potentially a primary source and definitely ground-breaking. Listen to it, and you’ll notice the stark difference between mainstream rap nowadays. Run-DMC’s debut might sound basic compared to the distance rap will go in the decades that follow, but for its time, it most certainly was a hard record that broke hip hop wide open. In the 80s, when hip hop was intercalating flashy looks and catchy hooks, Run-DMC did the total opposite. Their look was considered “street” and “hard,” donning laceless shoes and leather jackets instead of chest-baring shirts and rhinestones. Hip hop back then was more like glam and Run-DMC were most certainly NOT that. The music also was completely different. Instead of the melodic sounds associated with the genre, this debut contained harder beats, electric guitars, scratches, and rhymes with heavy staccato. Even the lyrics were different: reflecting the hardships of life and how self-motivation was the only way out. All of a sudden it became OK to be yourself and sing about what you knew. Hip hop would never be the same. And as Ice-T himself said, hip hop had grown from singles to completely realized albums, and this record is what made it happen. Its impact cannot be understated.

Get on Down’s reissue of this record is where it’s at. Choosing not to mess with perfection, they’ve repressed the record in all its original glory. Run-DMC grace the cover and back, and the record itself is pressed on beautiful clear vinyl. It’s almost a shame to own it in any other format.

This is simply a must-own record for anyone who cares about music.

Get it from Get on Down

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