. . .
As revolutionary as “It’s Like That” was, it on their third single where Run-D.M.C. created a new form of music, an unholy hybrid of metal guitar, massive beats, and of course, Run and D.M.C.’s shouted raps.
Even at the time, “Rock Box” felt as inevitable as it felt groundbreaking, and if the riffs and solos played by guitarist Eddie Martinez were maybe just the tiniest bit rote, it didn’t matter because the context was so shocking.
Lyrically, “Rock Box” is basically one long string of boasts, both Run and D.M.C. letting the suckers know just how great they are, with random emphasis on various words, which then echoed off into the distance.
Took a test to become an MC and didn’t fail
I couldn’t wait to demonstrate
All the super def rhymes that I create
I’m a wizard of a word, that’s what you heard
And anything else is quite absurd
I’m the master of a mic, that’s what I say
And if I didn’t say that, you’d say it any way
And in fact, the production is one of the things that’s so cool about “Rock Box:” as if to dovetail with their assertion that two guys and DJ could be a band, the vocals are mixed pretty low, like they’re Michael Stipe or Mick Jagger, and there’s a crazy amount of echo on the vocals throughout, especially as the song progresses, so you could say there are elements of dub and psychedelia mixed in with the R&B and rock.
That’s part of the fun of “Rock Box,” there’s also something new and weird going on with it. It’s a shaggy mongrel of a record, wending its way down the street at you, and it’s always possible that it’ll bite you.
“Rock Box” Official Video
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