'80s First: 'Raising Hell' Becomes First Certified Platinum Rap Album

A rap group from Hollis, NY would make music industry history in 1986. Run D.M.C. released their 3rd album Raisin' Hell in May 1986. In just two short months, the album would be certified platinum (one million in sales) by the RIAA, the first time in history a rap/hip hop album would reach that level. It would signify that the rap genre was not a fad as some music critics had viewed.

In Sept 1986,  Raisin' Hell would reach the 2X platinum level and then 3X platinum in March 1987. Building on the tremendous success of Raisin' Hell, Run D.M.C.'s previous album The King of Rock and their follow up album Tougher Than Leather would also reach the platinum level. Other firsts by Run D.M.C. include:
  • The first rap act to chart in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 more than once
  • The first rap artist with a Top 10 pop charting rap album
  • The first rap artist with gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums
  • The first rap act to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine
  • One of the first rap acts to receive a Grammy Award nomination
  • The first rap act to make a video appearance on MTV
  • The first rap act to perform at a major arena

Run D.M.C. are widely viewed as pioneers in the music industry, from rock & roll and hip hop artists alike. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Inducted were members Joseph Simmons (Run), Darryl McDaniels (DMC), and posthumously Jason Mizell (Jam Master Jay) who was tragically murdered in 2002. 

Run D.M.C. will also earn another first in 2016 as they will be the first rap group to earn a Grammy award for Lifetime Achievement

Headline Image: Jeff Pinilla, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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