I’m really excited about the fourth installment of I Used to Love H.E.R., a series in which artists/bloggers/writers discuss their most essential hip-hop albums (read intro). That’s because singer Sarah Daly of the London-based Scanners discusses in a quick Q&A an album that is one of my top three favorite hip-hop records. That only made me appreciate the group’s new LP Violence Is Golden (Dim Mak) all the more. Visit Scanners Web site or MySpace. Below is the mp3 for the single Lowlife.
MP3: Scanners | Lowlife
Tougher Than Leather (Priority Records, 1988)
Note: Deluxe editions, with previously unreleased songs and expanded liner notes, of Run-DMC’s first four albums, including Tougher Than Leather, were released last year by Arista. More information.
What’s your favorite hip-hop album?
“Tougher Than Leather by Run-DMC.”
How did you discover it?
“In a bargin bin in a record store.”
Why would you consider it your favorite?
“I just love all the tracks on it. It’s quite eclectic musically and the lyrics have a sense of humour.”
Did that album open you up to any more hip-hop?
“Well, more Run-DMC.”
What type of role (if any) has hip-hop played in your own music?
“It’s so all pervasive. It’s everywhere. you can’t help but be influenced
Probably most people would consider Raising Hell as Run-DMC’s seminal album or the one they’d most associate with the group. What’s different or more appealing about Tougher Than Leather (which happens to be my favorite as well)?
“It’s true that Raising Hell has all the hits that I associate with Run-DMC. In fact until Walk This Way I hadn’t heard of either Run-DMC or Aerosmith. I don’t think Tougher Than Leather production sounds that different to Raising Hell. I just came across it by accident. I love it maybe for no other reason than it was in my Walkman on the way to school. And I have some nostalgic attachment to it as a whole.”
Hip-hop has obviously evolved quite a bit since 1988, when Tougher Than Leather came out. What do you think accounts for its longevity and staying power?
“Hip Hop is now so utterly the mainstream. You hear it in the shopping malls and fast food restaurants across the world. But you can easily trace the influence of Run-DMC to platinum artists such as Kanye West and OutKast. I think that any music style that finds its place rooted so deeply into society will have longevity.”
Lastly, favorite track on the album … and why?
“Well I love Ragtime. It’s catchy and we all sing along to it in the car.”
Run-DMC | Ragtime
Previously on I Used to Love H.E.R.:
Pigeon John (De La Soul – De La Soul is Dead)
Joel Hatstat of Cinemechanica (Digital Underground – Sex Packets)
G. Love (Eric B. & Rakim – Paid In Full)