Rev Run Recalls Jam Master Jay Hearing Public Enemy For The First Time: “God Has Come Down From Heaven”

Rev Run recently spoke to Pitchfork, reflecting on hearing Public Enemy for the first time. According to him, the group’s music was so enthralling to him and the Beastie Boys on tour, they’d race to listen to it after performing. He even shares that the late Jam Master Jay found Chuck D to be godlike.

“I was going on tour with the Beastie Boys, and Chuck D and Hank Shocklee came to meet us at JFK Airport,” he began. “Chuck said, ‘Y’all gotta hear this,’ and they gave Russell Simmons and Lyor Cohen a cassette tape of a new record they had just made.” He continued, “This song was so captivating and addictive that Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys would rush to the dressing room after the show and listen to it on my JVC boombox.” “It wasn’t just a statement about political and social issues,” he adds. “It was a statement about how no motherf*ckers could make hip-hop this incredible.”

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Rev Run Recalls Jam Master Jay Calling Chuck D “God”

Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels and Jam Master Jay of the hip-hop group “Run DMC” pose for a studio portrait session in 1985 in New York, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Rev Run also went on to describe how his late group mate reacted upon hearing them for the first time. “When Jam Master Jay first heard Chuck on ‘Public Enemy #1,’ he said to Rick and Russell: ‘God has come down from heaven to rock the mic.’ This was God putting his foot in every MC’s a**. It was voice, delivery, rhyme, style.”

The artist continued, citing how Chuck D managed to simultaneously tap into multiple things on the Public Enemy record. “What’s beautiful is that Chuck said he created the cadence off of Rakim, the God MC,” he says. “Sonically, it was the most powerful, ear-catching, aggressive, complete production of a Hip Hop record. It was mature and youthful. It was who we were before we started making records.”

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