the Michigan Daily
Thursday, November 12, 1987
By Mike Rubin
Tonight at 7:30 on the stage at
Aill/Is a concert performance li-
censed to thrill
The most distinguished rappers in
pop history/ Profile recording artists
Building an empire out of modest
means/Three high-school friends
from Hollis, Queens
With LP releases like Raising
Hell / The trio has proven that rap
By offering a mixture that avoids
stale pablum/ Their record releases
have reached triple platinum
And reached an audience on a
widescale basis/ Of different
backgrounds, styles, and races
By rapping to a beat that assaults
the ears/The band have become
They've added guitar to rap's
spoken word thrust/To reduce rock's
color barrier to dust
Unlike most rap groups with a
single approach/There are a number
of styles that that the band encroach.
"We make all types of music,"
says Daryl McDaniels, aka DMC.
"The only thing rap about our rap is
the rap. Rock, hip-hop, reggae, we
do it all. We don't like categorizing
"Radio stations break everything
up into pop, rock, or soul, or into
black and white. Radio is
responsible for all the racial
categorization. People are always
asking me if I think the Beastie
Boys are 'stealing rap.' Shit, those
guys can rap. Nobody ever told
Larry Bird he can't play basketball
because he's white, and he's the best
basketball player that ever existed.
Eddie Murphy is funny, and so is
Rodney Dangerfield. It doesn't
matter what somebody is if they're
Part of Run DMC's barrier-
busting modus operandi involves
the use of savage '70s dunce-rock
guitar-riffing over a beat hard enough
to bounce quarters off of.
"Before rappers ever got a chance
to make records, we used to have to
find records to rap over. Rock and
roll records always had a hard beat,
so we would use records like Billy
Squier and Aerosmith's 'Walk This
Way.' Now that we have access to
the studio, we don't want to use
somebody else's beat. We want to
make our own."
The Ann Arbor performance is a
one-off show, as the band is
currently busy recording their fourth
album, Tougher Than Leather.
McDaniels claims there are no new
tricks up the band's black leather
sleeves regarding their concert
"Expect to try to keep track of us,
because we're constantly in motion,"
says DMC. "We're straight up, we
don't use gimmicks. Just two MCs,
DJ Jam Master Jay, the stage, the
crowd, two turntables, a mixer,
some records, and a microphone. We
don't need a band. We don't use one
and never will. We get the sound we
want in the studio and we just use
the instrumental versions of our
records to rap to. That's the only
way to keep rap real."
McDaniels is in favor of keeping
rap true to the minimal spirit of its
concrete conception, both in musical
form and subject content.
"Rap is real. 'Before we got a
chance to put it in on wax, we were
doing it in the parks and in the
basements. Rap will never end.
There's too many millions of people
backing us. Rap is the most positive
form of music. Most songs on the
radio now are about sex. Even when
someone's singing about love,
they're really singing about sex. In
rap, though, we can educate kids, and
tell them how to have fun."
Beneath their hedonistic exterior
and Hasidic hats, DMC says, the
band try to convey a serious message
to their impressionable followers.
"Our message to young people is
do the right thing and be a positive
thinker," says McDaniels. "There are
a lot of things that you'll want in
life, but you won't get them by
doing wrong. We say 'don't do
drugs, go to school, don't be a fool,
and when you grow up, you'll be
cool.' Kids look up to us, so it's
important for us to present a
positive image, but we don't want to
"When I was a little kid there
weren't a lot of positive images to
look up to, and what few there were
wouldn't take time out to say what
we say. If we feel strongly about a
cause, we support it. We were the
only rap group at Live Aid. We did
'Sun City.' Four years ago we did a
VD rap. We just recorded a
Christmas song on an album for the
Special Olympics. All the other
artists recorded their favorite holiday
songs, but we wrote our own, called
'Christmas in Hollis.' We don't care
about the money, just the cause."
Would the group use their impact
on their fans to support a more
overtly political cause, like a
candidate for public office?
"It depends how strongly we
feel," says McDaniel. "If the
candidate was Bill Cosby, yes.
Otherwise, no. We're not too
RUN DMC will be performing at
Hill auditorium tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $13.50 and $15.75 and
are on sale at the Union Ticket
Office all TicketMaster Outlets. Be
there or speak in iambic pentameter.
Daily Photo by SCOTT LITUCHY
Run DMC will prove that they can carry rap music from the streets of
New York to our 'acoustically perfect' Hill Auditorium tonight.
The University of Michigan
SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Fri., Women's Glee Club
Nov.13 Rosalie Edwards, conductor.
Special guest Prof. Beverly Pooley
For ticket information call 668-2458 or
Rackham, 8:00 p.m.
Fri., Symphony Band/Concert Band
Nov. 13 H. Robert Reynolds/Donald Schleicher,
Hill Auditorium, 8:00 p.m. FREE.
Sun., French Baroque Series
Nov.15 Michele Johns, organ
Music by Rameau, Dandrieu, Daquin,
Blanche Anderson Moore Hall, School
of Music, 4:00 p.m. FREE.
For up-to-date program information on School of Music
events call the 24-Hour Music Hotline, 763-4726
Piercy to read
By Avra Kouffman
Marge Piercy, one of the most
prolific and talented writers of our
time, will read from her work today
in a free presentation at Rackham
Amphitheatre. Piercy's appearance is
sponsored by the Friends of the
University Library, and it follows
upon the recent donation of her
literary papers to the Library's De-
partment of Rare Books and Special
Collections. The papers acquired by
the library include early drafts of the
author's novels, poems, and plays.
Piercy, a University alumna,
graduated in 1957 and has gone on to
enjoy a distinguished and illustrious
career. As an undergraduate, she at-
tained recognition as a Hopwood
Award winner and James B. Angell
Scholar. These honors only paved
the way for more to come; Piercy
has since received numerous awards
and endowments, as well as critical
praise from sources as diverse as the
Christian Science Monitor and The
New York Times.
Piercy's resume is nothing short
of astonishing. She has produced
nine novels, ten books of poetry,
and inumerable contributions to var-
ious periodicals and magazines. Her
work has been translated into nine
foreign languages, and she has read
or lectured at more than 250 aca-
demic and artistic institutions in the
United States, Canada, Norway, and
Piercy's work has been acclaimed
by all kinds of writers; Margaret
Atwood, Erica Jong, Thomas Pyn-
chon, and Adrienne Rich figure
among her more prominent admirers.
Piercy has also encountered a num-
ber of detractors, primarily because
she has never been one to shy away
from controversy, either in her life
or in her work. Her writing deals
with issues of social injustice, and
centers around aspects of the female
experience. Piercy's characters expe-
rience rape, abortion, and the anxiety
produced by deviating from the het-
erosexual "norm" in a homophobic
society. Many of her books are con-
sidered feminist classics; one of
them, Woman on the Edge of Time,
is required reading for the Univer-
sity's Introduction to Women's
Piercy, a life-long political ac-
tivist, refers to the women's niove-
ment as her "political home." She
currently chairs the legislative task
force of her local National Organiza-
tion for Women (NOW) chapter and
she periodically gives benefits for a
variety of women's organizations.
Her enthusiasm also spills over to
related issues, as is evidenced by her
work for civil rights and anti-war
A Detroit native, Piercy grew up
white in a predominantly Black area
of the city. Her family was poor, and
she encountered racism and classism
at an early age. She grew to resent
the inequities she perceived as being
caused by a capitalist system, and
her experience and understanding of
the system at work helped to shape
her political analysis.
Political activists populate many
of Piercy's novels, notably Vida and
Dance the Eagle to Sleep. Com-
mendably, Piercy usually manages
to avoid boring her readers with
overdoses of political rhetoric. She
has a gift for sustaining her audi-
ence's attention; she can explore a
character's political and emotional
concerns in depth, without exhaust-
ing the reader's interest.
One comes away from a Piercy
novel or poem with the feeling of
having shared a great conversation
with a thoughtful well-read person.
Her books read like novels, not
textbooks, yet they offer a wealth of
insights into revolutionary tactics,
ethics and motivations; as well as an
exploration of political structures
and the psychological make-up of
MARGE PIERCY will read from
her word today at 4 p.m. in Rack-
ham Amphitheater. Admission is
free and open to all.
Join the Daily
Call 763-0379 for
- - - - - -w " +. e.
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