Retro Rap: RUN DMC – Sucker MC’s

Retro Rap: RUN DMC – Sucker MC’s

Sucker MCs by RUN DMC is in a lot of ways the most important song in hip-hop history. With its minimalist style and street aesthetic it helped to usher in the new school era of hip-hop.

There are many rap scholars who will tell you that the day this song was released was the day that old school rap died. Old school being the genre of groups like The Furious Five or The Soulsonic Force.


Sucker MCs, also known as Krush Groove I was the B-Side to Run DMC’s first single, It’s Like That. The cassette was released March 12th 1983 on Profile Records. Initially the song was only available as a Cassingle but eventually was also pressed to vinyl and released as a 12 inch album.

The song was produced by industry veteran Larry Smith who instead of using live instrumentation like many rap songs of the era instead relied on drum machines exclusively. The sparse sound paved the way for what rap would sound like for the early years of the New School Era.

“With its lack of bass and emphasis on drum claps, ‘Sucker MCs’ provided the template for most [hip hop] records from ’83 until ’86-’87,” according to critic Jesse Serwe

Basically to sum it up, before RUN DMC came along rap was heavy on showmanship and live instrumentation. RUN DMC felt that rap should more mirror the day-to-day life of what they saw on the streets of Hollis Queens. Sucker MCs was their solution to what they felt was the genres overabundance of sucker mcs or dudes who didn’t have the skills to represent hip hop as they felt it should be.

In the history of popular music this song’s importance can’t be rated high enough. It lead to most of the hip hop that we see today and paved the way for raps explosion and some would say domination of popular culture.

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Reigning County Fair Comic Book Trivia Champion, Overall doer of good things and general winner. Keep your hoodies on and your boots laced.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. As usual, your attention to the finer points of hip-hop history is unmatched.

    As for this tune, I never looked into its significance before. I just thought it was a good song to break dance to.

  2. thanks for the kind words Justin. I really appreciate it.

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