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Run DMC: Run For It

Carol Cooper, Face, The, November 1984

DESPITE WHAT you may have read, there is no such thing as a monolithic black American style. The attempt to pigeonhole black creativity into narrow avenues of economic and emotional predisposition is nowhere more apparent than in music, where mavericks must overcome tremendous commercial bias. With rap music, which barrelled out of America's urban environments in the late Seventies, full of the sass and sexual vigour that had all but vanished from disco, commercial acceptance was slow but inevitable. While rock reworked creaky cliches and disco lay dying, the energetic, agile imaginations that animated street-party music were having big fun. Aggressive young Jewish and Italian entrepreneurs who'd capitalised first on the girl group era, then on disco, were now – as critic Aaron Fuchs once put it – selling quickie rap records out of the backs of their station wagons.

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