"Peter Piper" was the first single off of Run-D.M.C.’s monumental album Raising Hell. “Peter Piper” is based mainly around several nursery rhymes, though there are also references to children’s books, comics, fairy tales, and the titular tongue twister.
Wiki - The album was produced by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin. Raising Hell became the first Platinum and multi-Platinum hip-hop record. The album was first certified as Platinum on July 15, 1986, before it was certified as 3× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on April 24, 1987
Raising Hell peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, and number one on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart making it the first hip-hop record reach atop the latter. The album features four hit singles: "My Adidas", "Walk This Way" (a collaboration with Aerosmith), "You Be Illin'" and "It's Tricky". "Walk This Way" is the group's most famous single, being a groundbreaking rap rock version of Aerosmith's 1975 song "Walk This Way". It is considered to be the first rap-rock collaboration that also brought hip-hop into the mainstream and was the first song by a hip-hop act to reach the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100.
Raising Hell has been ranked as one of the greatest albums of all time. In 1987, it was nominated for a Grammy Award, making Run DMC the first hip-hop act to receive a nomination. In the same year for this album Run-D.M.C. was nominated for Album of the Year and won Best Rap Album at the 1987 Soul Train Music Awards. In 2018, it was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or artistically significant". The album was reissued by Arista Records in 1999 and 2003. An expanded and remastered edition was released in 2005 and contained 5 previously unreleased songs.
After the great response to the Rick Rubin blog this week I figured I should keep it on brand this Sunday night and go with one of Rubin's first-ever productions.
The nursery rhymes and fables alluded to include Humpty Dumpty, Little Bo Peep, and Rip Van Winkle. Peter Piper is a popular tongue-twister - "Peter Piper picked pickled peppers, a peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked." It gave Run-D.M.C. the chance to show off their vocal talents.
Returning home to Queens in late 1985 after their extensive touring, they soon put themselves on lockdown at Chung King studios in Manhattan for three months. In place of producer Smith, a cocky new maverick was brought in: Rick Rubin. Even though Rubin's and Russell's names were on the production marquee, the two non-group members oversaw and added to the music on Raising Hell more than created it. "Rick and Russell got production credit, but we [the group members] really did everything", DMC states. "We did that album in like three months. It was so quick because every rhyme was written on the road and had been practiced and polished. We knew what we wanted to do. Rick was all music and instruments. Jay was music and DJing. And me and Run was lyrics. We definitely had a game plan."
Raising Hell features the well-known cover "Walk This Way" featuring Aerosmith (largely the work of its leaders, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry). While the song was not the group's first fusion of rock and hip hop (the group's earlier singles "Rock Box" and "King of Rock" were), it was the first such fusion significantly impacting the charts, becoming the first rap song to crack the top 5 of The Billboard Hot 100. Raising Hell peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B Albums chart as the first hip hop/rap album to do so, and at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.
The main instrumental is a straight sample of a song called "Take Me To The Mardi Gras" by Bob James, a Jazz composer who combined elements of dance, funk and pop in his music. "Mardi Gras" came out in 1975, and about 10 years later it was sampled mercilessly by DJs to create the popular "Hell's Bells" sound. Mantronix used it with some added bass synth on their 1988 track "King Of The Beats," which was in turn sampled by Snap! on "The Power."
SAMPLE - Bob James - Take Me To The Mardi Gras
"Peter Piper" was the showcase song for Run-D.M.C.'s DJ, Jam Master Jay. The group's 2 rappers sing his praises as he manipulates the beat and keeps it going throughout the song. This type of sampling and turntable manipulation was big part of Hip-Hop in the '80s.
Especially his expert juggling of John Davis and Monster Orchestra's "I Can't Stop".
SAMPLE - John Davis and the Monster Orchestra - I Can't Stop
The song also includes Rev Run famously rapping about the popular Hasbro toy "Weeble Wobbles".
SAMPLE - Hasbro - Weebles Wobble
One of the sickest things you'll ever see is DJ Jazzy Jeff cutting up the song on his juggling routine
And now he can do it on the range cdj/turntables.
Guy is still a freak.