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Hollis hip-hop royalty Run-DMC get Hall of Fame nod

Hollis’ most famous hip-hop group will get its due in Cleveland this spring.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced on Jan. 14, that Run-DMC was one of five performers who were chosen to be inducted into the museum. The group, which was started in the early 1980s by Hollis musicians Joseph “Reverend Run” Simmons, Darryl “D.M.C” McDaniels and the late Jason “Jam-Master Jay” Mizell, pioneered the genre with hit songs such as “It’s Like That,” “My Adidas” and “Christmas in Hollis.”

“These artists demonstrate the rich diversity of rock ‘n’ roll itself,” Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President Joel Peresman said in a statement. “We are proud to honor these artists and celebrate their contribution to rock ‘n’ roll’s place in our culture.”

Run-DMC emerged at the same time as MTV and music videos, and the group used the new media genre to expand their audience. For the first time, audiences around the world listened and experienced inner city hip-hop and Run-DMC became the first hip-hop group to be nominated for a Grammy Award.

“Until Run-DMC, I thought that hip-hop was something that was only going to be done in basements and in clubs,” said performer Ice-T, in an article listed on the history page of Run-DMC’s Web site.

In addition to their traditional hip-hop tunes, the group created several rock-hip-hop fusion tracks, such as “King of Rock.” Their music was not only admired by non-hip-hop music listeners, but also by other musicians, such as Aerosmith, who performed a special cover duet of the rock band’s hit “Walk This Way.”

Despite the fame and fortune, the group never forgot its roots. The trio helped foster several Queens-based hip-hop artists, including 50 Cent, and set up a recording studio on Merrick Boulevard.

City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), a fan of the group, said Run-DMC’s induction was important for the community because it set a positive example for the youth.

“It’s a great thing, especially in this age where people know they can achieve anything if they work hard for it,” he said.

Jam-Master Jay was killed in the Merrick Boulevard studio on Oct. 30, 2002, by a gunman who entered it during a recording session. Ronald Washington, a southeast Queens resident who is in prison for a separate robbery incident, was eyed by investigators as a suspect, but was not charged in the artist’s’ murder.

“Jam-Master Jay was not a thug. Jam-Master Jay was not a gangster. He was the personification, the embodiment of hip-hop,” McDaniels said at his performing partner’s funeral.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

 

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