Before the champagne wishes and caviar dreams of contemporary rap music, it was all about gold chains, black fedoras, and, of course, shelltoe Adidas.

Before the champagne wishes and caviar dreams of contemporary rap music, it was all about gold chains, black fedoras, and, of course, shelltoe Adidas. Run-D.M.C., the genre's first superstar act, personified the marriage of hardcore lyrics and thrashing guitars long before there was Limp Bizkit or Kid Rock. The long overdue Greatest Hits celebrates the historic career of the Queens, N.Y., trio of Joseph Simmons (Run), Darryl McDaniels (D.M.C.), and Jason Mizell (Jam Master Jay). From groundbreaking "King of Rock" to the resurgent "Down With the King," each of the set's 18 tracks are a reminder of the group's classic genius. The fact that "Peter Piper" can still fill a dancefloor with grooving bodies is a living testament to the influence the group had not only on hip-hop but also music in general. Despite the commercial failure of 2001's Crown Royal, Run-D.M.C. is still going strong and is currently on tour with Kid Rock and Aerosmith.—RH

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