Peter Piper – Run D.M.C. (Raising Hell, 1986)
This essential track kicks off Run DMC’s seminal 1986 LP “Raising Hell” in grand style. The magic starts immediately with the group trading words in staccato-like fashion where they start inverting popular kid’s fables into what they’re doing. Before long you’re swept up in the trio’s braggadocio while Rick Rubin’s cutting and precise production kicks into the main audio nugget (sampling Bob James “Take Me To Mardi Gras”).
While Run DMC has about ten tracks I’d say are top-shelf, the reason I decided on this one was for the immense bass that I remember guys in my neighborhood using to shake our street with their systems. Call it a nostalgia trip or whatever but I remember this one and “Rock Box” just being two songs that guys bumped the most (in stark contrast to hearing their mash-up with Aerosmith “Walk This Way” all the time at school and on the radio).
Before Missy “Worked It”
This song also got revisited when Missy Elliott sampled Run DMC’s sample in “Work It”. The timing on everything in this track is so on point with so many subtle little great moments that it’s tough to just pick a few. The scratching is furious, the rhyming is bad (not bad as in bad, but bad as in good) and it’s easy to see why this crossed over so big at the time, and still continues to be so pointed to today as an example of how creative and inventive rap music can be. Also look for Dan to cite this in our upcoming “Top 10 Rap/Hip Hop” Trax podcast in a few weeks. Holla!