Run–D.M.C. was an American hip hop group from Hollis, Queens, New York, founded by Joseph “Run” Simmons, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels, and Jason “Jam-Master Jay” Mizell. The group is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential acts in the history of hip hop culture.
Run–D.M.C. were one of the most well-known hip hop acts in the 1980s who, along with LL Cool J, signified the advent of the new school of hip hop music. They were the first group in the genre to have a gold album (Run–D.M.C., 1984) and be nominated for a Grammy Award. They were the first to earn a platinum record (King of Rock, 1985), the first to earn a multi-platinum certification (Raising Hell, 1986) the first to have videos on MTV, the first to appear on American Bandstand and the cover of Rolling Stone. The group was among the first to highlight the importance of the MC and DJ relationship. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them number 48 in their list of the greatest musical artists of all time.
In 2007, Run–D.M.C. was named “The Greatest Hip Hop Group of All Time” by MTV.com and “Greatest Hip Hop Artist of All Time” by VH1. On April 4, 2009, rapper Eminem inducted them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In doing so, Run–D.M.C. became only the second hip hop group in history to be inducted, after Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
The initials “D.M.C.” are widely accepted to refer to Darryl McDaniels’ initials. In the 1985 album King of Rock’s title track, McDaniels says the initials have two meanings: “Devastating Mic Control” and “D for never dirty, MC for mostly clean.” He also makes a third reference “The ‘D’s for Doing it all of the time, the ‘M’s for the rhymes that all are Mine, The ‘C’s for Cool – cool as can be.”