Related Artists

Grandmaster Flash

Kurtis Blow

Kool Moe Dee


Biz Markie

Big Daddy Kane

Sugarhill Gang

Afrika Bambaataa

Public Enemy

MC Lyte

Run DMC Biography

Home > Music > R > Run DMC > Biography

Birth Place: Hollis, Queens, New York, USA
Years Active: 1983–2002
Genres: Rap, Rap Rock

Run–D.M.C. was an American hip-hop group from Hollis, in the Queens borough of New York City. Founded by Joseph “Run” Simmons, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels and Jason "Jam-Master Jay" Mizell, the group is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential acts in the history of hip-hop culture. The trio was one of the most well-known hip-hop acts in the 1980s that signified the advent of the new school of hip-hop music. They were the first group in their genre to have a gold record and be nominated for a Grammy Award.

After signing with Profile Records, Run–D.M.C. released their first single "It's Like That/Sucker MCs,” in late 1983. The single was well received, peaking at #15 on the Billboard R&B chart. Run–D.M.C. recorded their eponymous debut album, “Run–D.M.C.,” which was released in 1984 and featured singles such as "Jam-Master Jay" and "Hard Times."

1985's “King of Rock” saw the group furthering their rap-rock fusion on songs like "Can You Rock It Like This" and the classic title track, while another song, "Roots, Rap, Reggae," was one of the first rap/dancehall hybrids. The album was certified gold by the RIAA in 1985 and later was certified platinum in 1987.

With the help of producer Rick Rubin, they put out their third album, “Raising Hell,” in 1986 which became the group's most successful album and one of the best-selling rap albums of all-time. “Raising Hell” included the well-known cover, “Walk This Way” featuring Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith. While the song was not the group's first fusion of rock and hip-hop, it was the first such fusion to make a significant impact on the charts, becoming the first rap song to crack the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. “Raising Hell” peaked at #1 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and at #6 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. “Raising Hell” boasted four tracks that reached the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100.

1988’s “Tougher Than Leather” obtained platinum status and spawned the favorites, "Run's House" and "Mary, Mary," (a cover of The Monkees' song). “Back from Hell” followed in 1990 and featured the songs, "Faces" and "Pause."

Run–D.M.C. returned in 1993 with “Down With the King” which entered the rap charts at #1 and #7 on the Pop chart. Their seventh and final album, “Crown Royal,” was released about 18 months before the murder of Jam-Master Jay. All songs but the title track featured guest artists including Fred Durst, Stephan Jenkins, Sugar Ray, Everlast, Kid Rock, Nas, Prodigy and Method Man.

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, by Rapper Eminem. They were the second hip-hop group to be inducted, after Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.