Sunday, October 31, 2010
Back To Hell
Like a lot of Hip Hop fans, I've been a big fan of Run D.M.C. since I was a kid. Tougher Than Leather was actually the very first Hip Hop tape I ever bought. I think even now, if you go back and listen to the first 4 albums, you'll see how they became so popular with a lot of different demographic groups at the time and paved the way for Hip Hop artists to have real musical success. They brought Hip Hop to the masses, and broke through the talk of being the "fad" music of the day. Run D.M.C. definitely hold a lot of top positions when it comes to my favorite Hip Hop songs.
One album I never got a chance/never took the time to listen to from their discography is Back From Hell. Most people overlook this album, and after listening to it in its entirety this weekend, I now see why. It's actually inaccurate to say it's overlooked. Usually, that term is reserved for things that should be recognized. This album needs to be forgotten. It needs it so bad, that I probably shouldn't even be writing about it for 5 or so people to see here.
But, for a trio so synonymous with Hip Hop, who have so many classic records, and who had their own original sound for so many years, I was just shocked at how uneven, directionless, and full of mimicry this album is. So, I felt compelled to talk about it, I guess.
Their rhyme style switches too many times to count, and it feels like they are trying to keep up with the other acts getting more shine than them that year. The same with the production. The album bounces back and forth between faux-hardcore and painfully bad New Jack Swing tracks that made the whole album sound like they were reaching for success at the expense of their dignity. It's just not genuine at all, and the often mediocre lyrics don't help.
So, yes, I'm gonna put this album away and probably never pull it out again. And, I suggest everyone else do the same, and remember Run D.M.C. for their catalog of classic music because this album is a bad representation of both them and Hip Hop music. I'm fairly confident that they hope you do this too, as they are probably pretty embarrassed about this album today. Please forget you ever read this as well.