Today In Hip-Hop: Run DMC Releases “Walk This Way” Featuring Aerosmith

On this day, July 4, in hip-hop history… 

Run DMC

1986: Up and coming record producer, Rick Rubin, pulledout a vinyl record of a semi popular rock band named Aerosmith, and showed this to his then loosely managed musical colleagues, Joseph “Run” Simmons, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell and recommended they do a rendition of their critically acclaimed song “Walk This Way.” Astonishingly enough, neither Run nor DMC even knew who Aerosmith were and initially declined to remake the track, although Jam Master Jay was receptive to the idea. After much prodding and persuading, Rubin’s diligence paid off, and on July 4, 1986 Run DMC released “Walk This Way,” what happened next is legendary.

The single peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Walk This Way” gave credence to hip-hop as a reputable art form, and also revolutionized how music was to be heard. The synthesization of the two genres launched Run DMC into superstardom and revitalized the career of Aerosmith. The release of this single was the most pivotal point in hip-hop, not to mention the video in which two worlds collided; ushering in a new era of musical tolerance. If it weren’t for this magical moment, hip-hop would not have the notoriety it maintains today, nor would our culture have such an impact on contemporary society as it does. Hell, we may not even have artists such as Kid Rock, Nelly, Drake, or even Tupac; whom all of which were influenced not only by rap/hip- hop but Rock ‘n’ Roll as well. The genre we respectively equate to our persona and our culture would not be as creatively progressive, lucrative, or even significant if it were not for these fearless pioneers. “Walk This Way” stands as the most salient, most impactful, and most influential moment in hip-hop history. -Brandon Matthews