What a time for rap music. It was the end of the “old school” and the beginning of the golden age of rap music. Run-D.M.C. were one of the pioneers of the “New School” with cuts like Sucker MCs. It was nothing but a beat and rhymes. They took out all of the music and just gave it to you raw and uncut.
I remember these years very well. I was in high school and did whatever I could to be the person to come in to school with the latest songs from New York City. While I lived in the suburbs in Connecticut, I was able to get the signal from WBLS or KISS-FM late nights and tape Red Alert and Mr. Magic on the weekends. The signal was strong and on a clear night, it could travel all the way up the the Hartford area.
I still have these tapes.
I was a rap fan like many other kids in 1979 when The Sugarhill Gang released Rappers Delight. I fell deep for the music every year after that. I had just about every rap album that came out and most of the 12 inch disco singles too. Then, I just about gave up playing drums when I saw Grandmaster Flash and man oh man….Jam Master Jay! He was the KING. I found a way to basically destroy my father’s nice turntable and get a mixer and another bad turntable. I learned how to scratch and mix records.
I even DJ’d a few of my own parties during the early 80’s. I did a few after college but never did anything professionally. I must say, I made a whole lot of mix tapes.
I still have those tapes too!
But rap music? It was exciting. Maybe it was amazing because I was in college and could actually see some of the culture up close with New Yorkers that would come to parties at Howard University. I used to get annoyed with these kids because they were so arrogant! Oh, I hated New Yorkers. I still have strong feelings for the arrogant types who live in the city, but back then, I thought the style and the music they made was fascinating. I see first hand how New Yorkers are on a regular basis since I live amongst them. You have to act a certain way in New York or you will get crushed. It’s not for everyone. You have to know how to survive there.
After 25 years in NYC, I think I figured it out.
I didn’t get to see this show but I did see Run-DMC at Howard at Crampton Auditorium in I think ’88 or ’89. There weren’t too many people there for some strange reason. I wound up being in the front row. They KILLED it. What a show. After many years of touring and performing, they had their act together. They were number one for a good reason.
This show was fun to watch because you can see LL Cool J in the audience eating things up with his baby blue Kangol. It’s cool to watch the crowd and see their reaction too.
History right here: