By the 1986, hip-hop was exploding. Among
the year' highlights: Run-D.M.C. released Raising Hell, Eric
B. & Rakim debuted with "Eric B. Is President",
and The Juice Crew and Boogie Down Productions went to battle
with "The Bridge" and "The Bridge Is Over",
respectively. 1986 was also the year that female rapper MC
Lyte stepped into the fray with "Crom to Understand",
Salt-N-Pepa scored with "Push It" and the Beastie
Boys released Licensed to III.
Run-D.M.C.'s Raising Hell
was a monster album that
more than lived up to its title. Produced by Def Jam's Rick
Rubin, it was a mad combination of rock and rap, and melded
elements of the two genres to full effect. Featuring tracks
like the hit single "Walk this way" (a collaboration
with seventies rockers Aerosmith), "My Adidas" and
"Proud to be Black"; it caught attention of rap
and rock fans alike, helping to forge a seemingly unlikely
alliance between the two camps.
"Eric B. is President"
When now-legendary hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim released
their debut single "Eric B. is President" in 1986,
the record immediately became a street sensation. Using a
funky James Brown loop, Eric B. & Rakim crafted a classic
record that for many captured the essence of hip-hop. The
following year, their full-length release Paid in Full
proved that this was no fluke - Eric B. & Rakim were a
hip-hop force to be reckoned with.
"The Bridge is Over"
1986 brought the dawning of one hip-hop's most legendary battles.
It began when The Juice Crew's Marley Marl and MC Shan released
"The Bridge". Originally created for a park party,
a tape of the song got out to the neighborhood. It didn't
take long for Boogie Down Productions (BDP) to hit back with
their scathing response. BDP's KRS-One and DJ Scott La Rock
dropped a record called "The Bridge is Over" and
the battle was on.
"Licensed to III"
- Read more about The Beastie
The Beastie Boys made their mark on the hip hop map in 1986
with the release of their debut album "Licensed to III",
on Def Jam. Offering a mix of rap and rock, the album earned
praise from fans of both genres. Rock fans especially took
to tracks like "Fight For Your Right" and "NO
Sleep Till Brooklyn". As this 1986 press release states:
"The Beastie's music combines a rocker's love of loud
guitars with a rapper's love of rhymes, and the love of both
for hard, funky beats".