Run DMC, or how a random blog post turned unfortunately political … yeesh

2009 September 17
tags: ,
by Don Hammack

Trying to catch up with my “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me” listening tonight, they played Not My Job with Rev Run, formerly known as DJ Run from Run DMC. He’s got an MTV “reality” series called “Run’s House” these days, but I’m old enough to remember when his old rap group brought the genre to the masses with “Walk This Way.”

(Warning: Multiple parenthetical ramblings follow … I haven’t gotten my Carl Kasell voice mail recording yet. He’s on vacation this month, so I hope to get it sometime in October. I’ll let everyone know when there will be Straight-To-Voice-Mail hours on my cell phone so you can hear. No, I won’t ruin the surprise and tell you before then. … Quotation marks around “reality”? Really? Uh, yes. I’ll save you the geek-speak of the “Observer effect” in physics which talks about how observing some phenomenon you change that very phenomenon. Say you put a room temperature thermometer in a glass of hot water. The relative coolness of the thermometer changes the very temperature of the liquid it’s supposed to be measuring. Stick a bunch of cameras around people and the last thing you see is reality, hence the quotation marks. Guess I didn’t actually save the geek-speak. Sorry.)

Back then, it was just rap music. The hip-hop label hadn’t been widely adopted, but I was listening to more of that than kind of music than I do now. Actually, it would probably be better labeled as R&B, but that’s why I hate labels. It was really just black music. I was playing basketball in those days and was the designated driver for the guys on the team who lived in the projects out on 28th Street. I was listening to Prince, Ready For The World, The Time, etc. His Royal Purple Badness still occupies a high spot on my Top 25 musical ballot. Very high. I still enjoy “Prince Radio” on Pandora.

These days, my musical taste has stultified. I don’t hear a ton of new stuff in any genre. Just doesn’t happen. I still like the stuff I’ve liked before, just don’t pick up any new stuff, which is my loss. So I’ve heard of the Angry Black Man who upstaged Sweet Young White Girl this week, but couldn’t name a song either raps/sings/produces/writes. I wish I didn’t know what the president thought about ABM, but the labeling and stereotyping don’t seem to be getting us very far. ABM and SYWG, conservative and liberal, birther wingnut and socialist commie.

Perhaps a little reaching across the aisle might help, like when Steven Tyler busts through the wall in “Walk This Way,” or when a skinny white kid gave a bunch of black guys a ride home.

Can’t hurt.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 September 17


    Your past and mine, line up in quite a few areas: grew up in the South, former Navy nuke, news website guy, music fanatic. And from the other side of the race line, I see things exactly the same way. It is hard to imagine how folks get wrapped up in a single difference so much more than the multitude of similarities.

    P.S. Can’t believe you mentioned RFTW.

  2. 2009 September 17
    Don Hammack permalink

    Oh, Sheila.

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