1. Run-DMC f/ Aerosmith “Walk This Way” (1986)
Album: Raising Hell
Pioneer beatmaker and Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin broke the sound barrier with this epic track, which unleashed an era where kids who wanted to rock didn’t care about stupid stuff like genres. Rubin, producing Run-DMC’s classic-to-be, 1986’s Raising Hell, wanted to drive home the point that Run-DMC were already making kick-ass rock (“Rock Box,” “King of Rock”). And whether the rock establishment liked it or not, they were gonna kick down the door to the rock museum.
But Run-DMC didn’t use a lot of samples, so Rick tapped flagging ‘70s rockers Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. Classic rock fans considered it blasphemy when the Hollis Crew jacked the track, but it blasted Run, D and Jay into the stratosphere, bringing hip-hop to the masses and resurrecting Aerosmith’s career in the process.