Let's discuss the best tracks, albums, and music videos from the 10-year span that is arguably hip-hop's golden era. Whether you like hip hop a little or a lot, I'd like to know what your picks are from each year. If you know nothing about hip hop but want to learn, this thread will serve as a good introduction. Guidelines: 1. We will talk about one year at a time (maybe a year each week, +/- a few days, depending on how the discussion is going). Let's try to stick to the year currently being discussed to keep the thread somewhat chronological. 2. Anyone can bring up any hip-hop recording they want to from the year being discussed. 1986 At the young age of 7, this was the first year I took an interest in hip-hop music, thanks to Run-DMC's "Walk This Way." This track was the first major mainstream rap/hip-hop song, making it all the way to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and an even bigger hit than Aerosmith's original that peaked at #10 in early 1977. (The Run-DMC recording also went to #10 on Radio & Records pop airplay chart.) How I discovered it: At the time, we had just moved to a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, from a rural town in Michigan. It was not only my first experience living in a bigger city, but it was the first time we had Nickelodeon on cable TV. Every night before bed, my parents would let me watch Nick At Night, and at the time, Mr. Ed was my favorite show they were airing. In the fall of 1986, I remember Nick running a promo ad for a contest to win a trip to a theme park (Six Flags?), and it was in this promo that they used the intro to Run-DMC's "Walk This Way." Night after night, I would see this promo spot and hear the song snippet with no lyrics, but man, I loved that guitar riff! What was it???? My dad must've been able to identify the riff from the old Aerosmith classic, because he drove me to the record store and bought me the 45 (cover pictured above). After that, I was hooked. A few weeks ago, a friend and I were watching the Netflix Hip Hop Evolution documentary, and there's a cool story about how the song came about. Run-DMC used to hear the original Aerosmith track sampled on street mix tapes, where earlier rap groups would rhyme over the drum intro. Eventually Jam Master Jay would cut the beat up on his turntables. During the recording of Raising Hell, Rick Rubin suggested they remake the song. At first, DMC (Darryl) thought Rick was talking about just sampling the track with their own rhymes. But then Rick said (according to DMC), "No, you should do the record as is." Run (Joseph Simmons) and Darryl were completely against it, saying it was "hillbilly jibberish," which eventually turned into a screaming match between them, Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons (Joseph's brother, who co-founded Def Jam with Rick), although Jay was on-board with the idea of the remake. A week went by, and Jam Master Jay was in the studio with Russell and Rick (co-producers of the track), and Rick had brought Steven Tyler and Joe Perry with him to the studio. Jay called Run and Darryl from the studio, essentially convincing them to come down to record the record with the band. After laying down the track, Jay and DMC, still not convinced that the track was any good, told Rick and Russell that they had better not put it out as a single. They put it out anyway, and the rest is history.