Grounbreaking hip-hop group Run-DMC joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this weekend.
Run-DMC was inducted on April 4 by Detroit rapper Eminem, who strolled out onto the stage dressed like a long-lost group member from his black fedora to a his leather jacket.
"Two turntables and a microphone, that’s all it took to change the world," Em began. "Three kings from Queens made rap music in the b-boy stance a global phenomenon."
He recalled how hearing their music changed his world in a speech that always came back to its opening line. “I still remember being in ninth grade when Tougher Than Leather came out,” he told the crowd. “As soon as I heard ‘Run’s House,’ man, it was pretty much a wrap for me. Marshall Mathers became Eminem. …Two turntables and a microphone."
Rev. Run and DMC brought their families on stage to accept the rare honor. They’re only the second hip-hip group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s a well-deserved award for the trio who was the first rap group ever played on MTV.
Run made sure to thank his brother, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, for convincing them to get a new name (they were originally the Sure Shot Three…that just doesn’t have the same ring to it) and to mix a little rock with their rhymes.
DMC used his turn on the mic to thank his adopted family and encourage people to take in foster children. “The best thing y’all can do is give love to a kid, because that kid may grow up and be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one day,” he said.
Jam Master Jay’s mother, Connie Mizzell, accepted the honor for her late son. She recalled having the boys practice in her house while she was studying, but that she never asked them to keep the noise down because she didn’t mind it.
Nearly 25 years after their video for “Kings of Rock” showed them taking over a rock and roll museum, Connie said the induction happened completely in its own time.
"Nothing happens before time," she said. "It wasn’t time when Jason was living. It was time after he’d gone. Because you see the blessings is still going on. He is not forgotten."
– Sonya Eskridge