There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
While Run-DMC influenced the course of an art form it for a time represented throughout America, the group’s truly historic artistic coup was claiming to be Kings of Rock and then proving it. Rap’s first crossover sensation, of course, was not immune to the racism of early MTV; it was with the help of a white rock band that these Queens outsiders made the only rap song many suburbanites ever liked. But guitars were the forte of this two-mike, two-turntable outfit way before it revitalized Aerosmith’s career. Compared with today’s mixmaster fantasias, the simple scratch ‘n’ roll of Run-DMC’s seminal work (“Sucker M.C.’s,” “My Adidas,” “It’s Tricky,” “Rock Box”—this was a singles band if hiphop ever had one) sounds almost dated, making it less strange that the group’s most recent tours have seemed like oldies revues. But MCs Run and DMC, along with DJ Jam Master Jay, have always grooved on pure self-empowerment and buddy power. It’s a durably relevant message that casts a shadow over all the “hard” guys—like the ones who claim they didn’t see shit the night their “friend” Tupac took it in the chest. With Spider Monkey and 3LG at 8 p.m. at the Bayou, 3135 K St. NW. $17. (202) 333-2897. (Brett Anderson)