Sunday, December 02, 2007
Reading is a very fresh way to learn...
Run DMC's appearance on Reading Rainbow is one of my earliest memories of rap music besides the lame pseudo-hip hop parodies (such as rappin' Ronnie and the Bear's shufflin' crew) that were for some reason so prevalent in the early eighties. The episode of Reading Rainbow showcased musical storytelling traditions and also featured Pete Seeger and a dance troupe. But the highlight of the show was obviously the two original Run DMC videos which opened and closed the episode. As a child, I remember being baffled and intrigued by the minimalism of this music as well as the record scratching. First Run, D and Jay tell us about their childhoods over the My Adidas beat (yes, jay gets a verse too). Next is a short rhyme telling us about the joys of reading over Peter Piper. Classic!
As a bonus, here is run DMC's appearance on the pilot (and unfortunately only episode) of early 80's hip hop show Graffiti Rock. The Fellows perform a rousing renditions of Sucker MCs followed by a friendly "battle" with Special K & Kool Moe Dee (two-thirds of the Treacherous Three, who were apparently going to be the show's "house rappers") while Jam-Master Jay Juggles the Big Beat break.
Some years ago, I got a chance to see Run DMC perform at a free show in Brooklyn. While definitely past their prime, the three still put on one of the best concerts I've ever attended (especially compared to other hip hop shows which unfortunately are often pretty half-assed). Long live the kings!
RIP Jam-Master Jay.
reading rainbow 1 reading rainbow 2 the video graffiti rock the video