The year is 1978. Saturday Night Fever is breaking box office records. All over America kids are racing home to watch Dance Fever, Michael Jackson is poised to become the next major pop star, and in Hollis, Queens, fourteen-year-old Darryl McDaniels—who will one day go by the name D.M.C.—busts his first rhyme: "Apple to the peach, cherry to the plum. Don't stop rocking till you all get some." Darryl's friend Joseph Simmons—now known as Reverend Run—thinks Darryl's rhyme is pretty good, and he becomes inspired. Soon the two join forces with a DJ—Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell—and form Run-D.M.C. Managed by Run's brother, Russell Simmons, the trio, donning leather suits, Adidas sneakers, and gold chains, become the defiant creators of the world's most celebrated and enduring hip-hop albums—and in the process, drag rap music from urban streets into the corporate boardroom, profoundly changing everything about popular culture and American race relations.
Through candid, original interviews and exclusive details about the group's extraordinary rise to the top—and its mortal end brought on by the tragic murder in 2002 of Jam Master Jay—Raising Hell tells of Run-D.M.C.'s epic story, including the rivalries with jealous peers, their mentoring of such legendary artists as the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, and the battles with producers, record executives, and one another. Ronin Ro delivers a meticulously researched, compellingly written, affecting behind-the-music tale of family, friendship, betrayal, murder, and the building of the culture and industry known as hip-hop.
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