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Run-D.M.C. thought ‘Walk This Way’ would ruin their career

Daryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels has revealed that Run-D.M.C. feared at the time that recording their Aerosmith collaboration ‘Walk This Way’ might “ruin” their career. 

The 1986 single, taken from the group’s third album ‘Raising Hell’, was a landmark recording in establishing a connection between hip-hop and rock music. It was an adaptation of Aerosmith’s original track of the same name, released in 1975. 

The collaboration came about through the suggestion of producer Rick Rubin, and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry contributed to the new version. It became the group’s biggest hit to that point, reaching the top ten in both the US and UK charts. 

But as DMC has revealed to People, they were very reluctant to go through with it. “It was at a time when nobody was branching out of their lane,” he said. “So when we first did ‘Walk This Way,’ the perception was everybody in hip-hop is going to hate this because people are scared to do something new. People are scared to get uncomfortable. People are scared to work and think outside of the box because they’re comfortable in that position.” 

“We thought it was going to ruin our careers. Our thing was, ‘Ain’t nobody going to like this. All the people that like hip-hop is going to be mad at us.’ We had no idea that everybody from Red Alert to Grandmaster Flash would say, ‘Yo, that’s the coolest thing’. We didn’t know that the Black people was going to love it.” 

“When I speak to young kids, I tell them this: ‘Always be open to try something different because not only will it change your life, it could change the world.’ And that’s exactly what the ‘Walk This Way’ record did.” 

In other news, the murder trial for Jam Master Jay began this week (January 30), with the court hearing that the rapper’s killing was motivated by greed and revenge related to a drug deal row. 

Jay – real name Jason Mizell – was shot in the head and killed at his New York recording studio in 2002. 

At the trial, Uriel ‘Tony’ Rincoln, an eyewitness who was at the scene of the shooting who was also wounded in the gunfire, has identified Karl Jordan Jr. as a suspect. Jordan, who was Mizell’s godson, was charged with murder in 2020 along with Ronald Washington. They have pleaded not guilty, and if convicted, they could face at least 20 years in prison. 

Also this week, a judge ruled that lyrics written by the accused cannot be used in the murder trial. 

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