17. Run-DMC, 'Peter Piper'
Raising Hell, 1986
The opening track on Run-DMC's 1986 classic, Raising Hell, is still the greatest ode ever to the Midas-like powers of a DJ. Jam Master Jay sliced up Bob James' bell-ringing 1975 smooth-jazz version of "Take Me to the Mardi Gras" as Run and DMC summed up their partner's greatness: "Not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good!" Run-DMC's label, Profile Records, wanted "Walk This Way," a rap-rock collaboration with Aerosmith, to be the first single off their new album. But the group was adamant that "My Adidas"/"Peter Piper," odes to hip-hop culture, be the first release; Darryl "DMC" McDaniels later recalled saying, "If y'all don't do it, we're gonna give it to the radio and fuck everything up." They prevailed, and Raising Hell became rap's first blockbuster album.