Hell and Back

First off, RIP Jam Master Jay. Secondly, back covers, or as I like to call them, album ass, can be just as enticing and worthy of discussion and attention as their popular fronts (in my humble opinion). Case in point, this lovely, squared-off, rear-end of Run-DMC’s 1986 Raising Hell. Bold, yes. Informative, sure. Track listing is a huge plus. Credits, both artistically and manufactoringly (sure, a bit of a stretch, but we’re going with it), are all present and accounted for. This is a monster album, worthy of ownership by just about anyone with good sense, and if you don’t already own it (which I’m sure you do), it’s certainly worth seeking out.

The Hell We Raise

Raising HellRaising Hell, that was all the rage on the elementary schoolyards back… way back in the day. Oh, how some things never change. If you’ve been living with your head in the ground for the past, oh, 30+ years, and you’re unfamiliar with this commercially successful and monumentally influential hip-hop group, I envy you, because that means you’re ripe to experience this other-worldly concoction of rap and rock for the very first time. That Raising Hell is Run-DMC’s third studio album shouldn’t scare you (come to think of it, why would it?), it should comfort and free you, if only for the fact that this collection of 12 tracks was chosen for preservation by none other than the damn Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry for being, and I quote (thanks, Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress), “The unique trinity of historic, cultural and aesthetic significance reflected in the National Recording Registry each year is an opportunity for reflection on landmark moments, diverse cultures and shared memories—all reflected in our recorded soundscape.” Those kids on the school yards in rural Wisconsin knew their shit, am I right?!