Run DMC and Jam Master Jay are authors of nearly every hallmark of rap, from themes of self-adulation and simultaneous degradation of sucka MCs, call and response, heavy metal sampling to more advanced digital sampling, as well as name-brand worship. The remasters of the first four albums from the Kings from Queens document the evolution of some of hip-hop’s greatest innovators.
The King of Rock and Run DMC aren’t exactly timeless. The simple beats, echoes of the oral beat box and basement parties were progressive then, but sound a bit kitschy today. The latter two in the set, however, are still cutting edge, with some brilliant sampling and socially significant lyrics. The bonus tracks don’t make the remastered albums any more valuable than the originals, not even the a-cappella version of ‘My Adidas’, but if you haven’t heard these yet, “Move your butt to the cut/Run amok/You’re not in a rut.”