The legendary status of Run-D.M.C. has never been questioned, and rightfully so. The trio were true hip-hop pioneers and still to this day influence the culture through their past achievements as well as direct contributions.
Of the countless artists they influenced, fellow legendary emcee Ice Cube is one that truly took full advantage of the path Run-D.M.C. paved for future artists and has a similarly powerful legacy of his own.
In a recently penned essay for CuePoint, Ice Cube confesses that he was obsessed with the group growing up, and credits them for taking hip-hop to “rock star status.”
"Run-DMC took hip-hop to rock star status. They showed us how to do everything, especially how to perform with songs like 'Here We Go.' They showed us if you had a dope DJ you 'didn’t need no band,' and that rappers from the hood could be the Kings of Rock too. I wouldn’t be a rapper today if Run-DMC didn’t show me how to do it with class."
It’s a true testament to their timeless contribution to the culture that Cube, who has been around hip-hop for nearly 30 years and has seen countless trends come and go, still hold Run-D.M.C. in the highest regard.
Cube makes it crystal clear throughout his essay that there would be no N.W.A. or Ice Cube without Run, D.M.C., and Jam Master Jay, and reminisces over “bucket list” moments in which he was able to interact with the legendary crew on a personal level.
"It’s been a blessing getting to know these guys over the years as one of their peers. I remember when someone said hip-hop was dead. I didn’t believe them until I heard that they killed Jam Master Jay. Then I believed them."
In reading Cube’s words of utter amazement and appreciation, I was left to wonder which artists from our generation will be celebrated by their artistic offspring in a similar fashion. In my humble opinion, every aspiring emcee should read Ice Cube’s piece and be motivated by his sentiments.
That should be the goal—to be remembered like that.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.