By Andrea Caccese
The year was 1986. Classic rock bands were struggling to remain relevant, due to the changing musical landscape of the decades. Loud guitars and amplifiers were steadily being replaced by synths, pop songs and hip-hop, which was a blossoming culture at the time. There was almost a divide between rock listeners and rap music, almost a sort of rivalry, as these two different musical cultures seemed unfit for each other, according to many hardcore fans. As it turned out, the haters were wrong. On a quest to open up to a new, diverse audience, legendary rockers Aerosmith joined forces with chart-topping rappers Run-D.M.C., in order to create a new version of Aerosmith's breakthrough 1975 single "Walk This Way".
The popular music video of the song actually starts with a little skit that shines a light on the perceived animosity between rock and rap during those days. In the clip, Aerosmith are practicing their rock music in their practice space, but the group next door, RUN-DMC is spinning beats really loudly. With the rockers disturbed by the beats, and the rappers annoyed at the loud guitars, they eventually break the wall of the practice space, and the fight turns into a collaboration.
The symbolic wall falls apart, allowing Steven Tyler and company to join forces with RUN D.M.C. in one of the most popular crossover songs between rock and rap ever. This song was an ironic protest against the pointless animosity between music cultures, and a powerful statement: art is art, and even though genres might be different, they can complement each others in new exciting ways. This open philosophy paved the way to new exciting music in years to come.
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