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Tougher Than Leather (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

At the end of 1986, Raising Hell was rap's best-selling album up to that point, though it would soon be outsold by the Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill. Profile Records hoped that Run-D.M.C.'s fourth album, Tougher Than Leather, would exceed the Beastie Boys' quintuple-platinum status, but unfortunately, the group's popularity had decreased by 1988. One of Run-D.M.C.'s strong points — its love of rock & roll — was also its undoing in hip-hop circles. Any type of crossover success tends to be viewed suspiciously in the hood, and hardcore hip-hoppers weren't overly receptive to "Miss Elaine," "Papa Crazy," "Mary, Mary," and other rap-rock delights found on the album. Thanks largely to rock fans, this album did go platinum for sales exceeding one million copies — which ironically, Profile considered a disappointment. But the fact is that while Tougher Than Leather isn't quite as strong as Run-D.M.C.'s first three albums, it was one of 1988's best rap releases.

Biography

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

More than any other hip-hop group, Run-D.M.C. are responsible for the sound and style of the music. As the first hardcore rap outfit, the trio set the sound and style for the next decade of rap. With their spare beats and excursions into heavy metal samples, the trio were tougher and more menacing than their predecessors Grandmaster Flash and Whodini. In the process, they opened the door for both the politicized rap of Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions, as well as the hedonistic gangsta fantasies...
Full bio
Tougher Than Leather (Bonus Track Version), Run-DMC
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