Home Read Classic Album Review: Run-DMC | Crown Royal

Classic Album Review: Run-DMC | Crown Royal

The rap pioneers' first album in seven years is less a comeback than a come-down.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


All rappers boast. But with Run-DMC, the old adage, ‘It ain’t bragging if you can back it up’ is a simple statement of fact. Or at least it used to be.

In the rap world, this Hollis, Queens trio did it all, and for the most part, did it first. How big is there impact? Put it this way: No Run-DMC, no Beastie Boys. No Beastie Boys, no rap-rock. Simple as that. How sad, then, that this long-awaited and often-delayed album — their first in seven years — is less a comeback than a come-down. Problem 1: DMC barely shows up — reportedly, he’s had it with rap and only continues to participate for the paycheque. He’s sorely missed, but was wise to stay away. Why? Problem 2: Run and Jay seem to have lost their direction. On these 12 cuts, they repeatedly abandon their distinctive old-school sound for a mish-mash of contemporary styles, allowing a lengthy list of guest stars (Fred Durst, Kid Rock, Everlast, Sugar Ray, Method Man, Jermaine Dupri and others) to commandeer these cuts. Sure, the guys get their props from the young bucks. But once they’re finished basking in the glow, they better wise up and get back in the game. Otherwise, all they’re doing is bragging.