Throwback: Black History Month: Run DMC

February 18, 2021 is the 18th day of Black History Month. The month has been rushing by — but throughout this past month, I’ve been featuring Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styes. Hopefully, this may be a bit of a primer on the Black experience and on Black music. 

Of course, I hope that these posts will serve as a reminder of these very important facts:

  • Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music. 
  • America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop. 
  • Black art matters. 
  • Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time. 

Run DMC was among a batch of hip hop acts to have crossover/mainstream appeal in the 80s. And as a child of the 80s, who was born and raised in Queens, it was easy to be proud of them: they grew up in Hollis, where my father grew up — and in those brothers, I could see myself, unlike say, Metallica or Tears for Fears.

When I was small, I begged my folks for a pair of Adidas, because my heroes wore them. So my folks went to Modell’s and bought me a pair. Sadly, they fell apart in a few weeks and I was heartbroken.

We have to give love to the pioneers, who helped made hip-hop the global phenomenon it is today.