Okay, let’s get the obvious one out of the way.
This song was the paving way for rockers and hip hoppers to work together on several projects. It paved the way for rock and roll samples to be used in hip hop without any fear of taboo or goofy looks from the hip hop community. This song did a lot of great things for the genre. Most people credit Run DMC’s genius, it was actually Rick Rubin who had the idea.
In fact, Run DMC had no idea who Aerosmith was before they decided to do the song.
Since this landmark track, Aerosmith hasn’t quit. While their presence hasn’t been direct in most of the songs they have been a part of, the collective made up by lead singer Steven Tyler, lead guitarist Joe Perry, and the rest of the band have been part of the hip hop game for nearly two decades now.
They’ve been sampled on songs by the likes of Immortal Technique, De La Soul, Big Sean, The New Royales and Girl Talk, just to name a few. The song selection for these samples isn’t too vast, but the songs that have been used have been arranged in very creative ways by the artists or their producers over the years, in some cases where you can’t even tell that it’s an Aerosmith sample.
After “Walk This Way” hit stores, groups like De La Soul came out with sample tracks of the famed band, but it wasn’t until 2002 when Eminem came out with one of his best tracks from The Eminem Show, sampling perhaps’ Aerosmith’s best song, “Dream On”.
Since this track, the use of the group’s tracks has dwindled a bit. Maybe it’s because Em and DMC have more or less done as much as they could with their music. It’s hard to topple those songs. It could also have to do with Aerosmith not being as popular as they once were. Regardless, their place in hip hop history is forever cemented.
Rock stars in hip hop will cover rock stars’ involvement in hip hop in an array of ways. One person/group’s contribution may come via samples (Aerosmith), while another may have a hip hip quality to their original content (RATM). This feature will explore both of those aspects.