On this day, May 15, in hip-hop history...

Profile, Arista
Profile, Arista

1986: Innovative Queens hip-hop crew Run-D.M.C. dropped their third studio album Raising Hell on May 15, 1986.

In a time when hip-hop was still an outlier in the music industry, Run-D.M.C.'s Raising Hell broke barriers where previously albums couldn't. It was on Raising Hell where the trio teamed up with rock legends Aerosmith for the well-known cover of "Walk This Way." This song would be Run-D.M.C.'s first mainstream hit single, becoming the first rap song to crack the Billboard Hot 100's Top 5.  Needless to say, it was a landmark moment for a genre that was, in the grand scheme of things, still very much in its infancy.

Raising Hell also spawned the singles "It's Tricky," which strategically flipped The Knack's 1970's hit "My Sharona," "You Be Illin" and "My Adidas," which landed the guys the first major sneaker endorsement deal in hip-hop history. Once again, this was a huge, huge deal.

The LP peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B Albums charts and went on to be certified triple-platinum, the first hip-hop album ever to gain that certification. The precedents that were set thanks to Raising Hell are what allowed hip-hop to be accepted into mainstream music media and paved the way for other acts to flourish during hip-hop's golden age in the 1990s.

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