A writeup of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way
" would simply not be complete without mentioning Aerosmith's collaboration
with rap act Run-DMC
. Performing the song together, the results thereof end up on the latter act's 1986
release, Raising Hell
, along with a music video that very quickly received heavy airplay
The brainchild of Def Jam's Rick Rubin, the Aerosmith/DMC collaboration is popular music's first rap-rock "crossover", and has its place firmly cemented in music history for the influence it generated.
While this influence which is probably close to incalculable, there are a few tangible things that immediately come to mind. First of all, the collaboration resulted in a very vivid introduction of rap music into the then mostly-white suburban American neighborhoods. To a lesser degree, it also gave the mainstream a taste of Aerosmith who had, to this point, often been relegated to generic "heavy metal" or "hard-rock" categorizations.
Secondly, the rap-rock combination took root in the American music culture, eventually becoming its own subgenre; On the heels of the collaboration came acts like the Beastie Boys (also on the Def Jam label), whose album Licensed to Ill became a runaway best-seller in 1987. In the years that follow, one can find all sorts of collaborations (like Sonic Youth's collaboration with Chuck D, "Kool Thing"), or rap-rock bands themselves, such as Ice-T's controversial Body Count, or the late-century success, Rage Against The Machine.