Rap royalty returns with new ‘King’

Long considered the originator of new-school rap, Run-D.M.C. returns to the album wars Tuesday with its latest Profile Records release, “Down With the King.”

“We all started when we were young and I feel like we’ve got another 20 years in this,” said Jason Mizell, known as Jam Master Jay.

“The only thing we’ve got to prove is that our music — rap music — is here to stay. Hip-hop artists don’t have to come and go in two years. There should be some artists that can rise above it all, if they’re true and have a love of the art.”

Run-D.M.C., which is Mizell, Joseph (Run) Simmons and Darryl (D.M.C.) McDaniels, seeks a return to its glory years with the new album. The ride began with a gold album debut in 1984, followed by a string of platinum successes, including the monster hit “Walk This Way,” a cover of the Aerosmith classic that broke the band as pop stars.

However, 1990’s “Back From Hell” was a reactionary, harder-than-usual record that seemed to cost the rappers a lot of fans.

The group sounds sharp on “Down With the King,” an album that owes a lot of its intense and adventurous edge to a string of all-star producers, including Hank Shocklee of Public Enemy, EPMD, Pete Rock, Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest and Naughty by Nature.

Run-D.M.C. is on a tour of Europe; a U.S. tour is expected to follow.

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