New Book Examines How AEROSMITH And RUN-DMC Teamed Up To Tear Down Wall Between Rock And Hip-Hop

New Book Examines How AEROSMITH And RUN-DMC Teamed Up To Tear Down Wall Between Rock And Hip-Hop

"Walk This Way: Run-DMC, Aerosmith, And The Song that Changed American Music Forever", a new book by Washington Post national arts reporter Geoff Edgers, will be released tomorrow (Tuesday, February 5) via Blue Rider Press.

In the book, Edgers takes a deep dive into the story behind "Walk This Way", AEROSMITH and RUN-DMC's legendary, groundbreaking mashup that forever changed music.

The early 1980s were an exciting time for music. Hair metal bands were selling out stadiums, while clubs and house parties in New York City had spawned a new genre of music. At the time, though, hip-hop's reach was limited, an art form largely ignored by mainstream radio deejays and the rock-obsessed MTV network.

But in 1986, the music world was irrevocably changed when RUN-DMC covered AEROSMITH's hit "Walk This Way" in the first rock-hip-hop collaboration. Others had tried melding styles. This was different, as a pair of iconic arena rockers and the young kings of hip-hop shared a studio and started a revolution. The result: Something totally new and instantly popular. Most importantly, "Walk This Way" would be the first rap song to be played on mainstream rock radio.

In "Walk This Way", Edgers sets the scene for this unlikely union of rockers and MCs, a mashup that both revived AEROSMITH and catapulted hip-hop into the mainstream. He tracks the paths of the main artists — Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Joseph "Run" Simmons and Darryl "DMC" McDaniels — along with other major players on the scene across their lives and careers, illustrating the long road to the revolutionary marriage of rock and hip-hop. Deeply researched and written in cinematic style, this music history is a must-read for fans of hip-hop, rock, and everything in between.

"It's hard to believe today because hip-hop is the music," Edgers told Wicked Local. "It's the music you hear on the radio. It's the music our kids know. It's the music on commercials, but there was a moment where it was very much outside of the mainstream and this song changed it."

He added: "This song was important to me because when I was a kid in suburbia in 1986 this song is the first rap song that was played on mainstream radio stations. It was the first rap song played on WBCN, which was sort of the king of Boston radio."

Photo credit: Zack Whitford


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).