Walk This Way Run DMC

Greatly Appreciated

"Walk This Way"  is a song by the American hard rock band Aerosmith.  In addition to being one of the songs that helped break Aerosmith into the mainstream in the 1970s, it also helped revitalize their career in the 1980s when it was covered by rappers Run–D.M.C. on their 1986 album Raising Hell.  This cover was a touchstone for the new musical subgenre of rap rock, or the melding of rock and hip hop.  It became an international hit and won both groups a Soul Train Music Award for Best Rap – Single in 1987.  (More from Wikipedia)
An early example is one of the first big hits by Aerosmith, “Walk This Way”, where most of the vocals are sung much faster than the beat of the music; it is taken from their third album, Toys in the Attic (1975).  A decade later, Run-D.M.C. included a remake of “Walk This Way” on their album Raising Hell (1986), with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith sitting in on vocals and guitar, respectively.  The two groups also collaborated on a video that was in heavy rotation on MTV.  This was one of the first times that rock music and rap music were melded together.
The current (August/September 2016) issue of AARP The Magazine – a perk for anyone who joins AARP that keeps getting better every year – includes a section called “Surviving the ‘80s”.  The item about the Walk This Way remake reads, quoting Darryl McDaniels (aka D.M.C.):  “[Producer] Rick Rubin gives us this yellow notebook pad.  He tells us, ‘Go down to D’s basement, put the needle on the record.’  We go down to my basement and put on the record, and then you hear, “Backstroke lover always hidin’ ‘neath the covers,’ and immediately me and Joe [Joseph Simmons aka Run] get on the phone and say, ‘Hell no, this ain’t going to happen.  This is hillbilly gibberish.’”
My recollection is that the new version of Walk This Way revitalized Aerosmith’s career to a greater extent than it boosted that of Run-D.M.C..  Perhaps leaving a bad taste in the mouth of hip hop artists who were still searching for greater respect in the music world, I remember few rock/rap collaborations after that until the 1990’s.
(September 2016)
Last edited: March 22, 2021