Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C.’s version of “Walk This Way” blew open the world of crossover collaborations. The song is still held as the gold standard of experiments in music, but it almost didn’t happen.

We recently invited Run-D.M.C. legend Darryl McDaniels (DMC) to our studio for an exclusive interview. During our chat, the iconic rapper revealed how he and Run were vehemently against collaborating with Aerosmith, but Rick Rubin and Jam Master Jay visualized the project’s potential.

Run-D.M.C. grew up rapping to the beat of “Walk This Way,” but never actually made it to Steven Tyler’s vocal because the DJ would throw it back to the beat’s first measure. Once Rick Rubin sent DMC and Rev. Run to check out “Walk This Way” in its entirety, the duo wasn’t pleased. “‘Oh hell no!,’” DMC remembers yelling. “‘This is country bumpkin, mountain climbing, hillbilly gibberish!’ We totally rebelled.”

When we asked DMC how long it took for him to actually like the reworked “Walk This Way,” the rapper admitted that “it took a minute.” Run-D.M.C. even told their label not to release the track as a single, but to the duo’s surprise, it ended up on the radio. “I remember DJ Red Alert on the radio goes, ‘I’m about to play the hottest hip hop song of the summer.’ Me and Run knew it was either ‘Peter Piper’ or ‘My A.D.I.D.A.S.’ This motherf—er throws on ’Walk This Way’! Me and Run just looked at each other — ‘What the hell?!’”

Listen to DMC recall the entire story of “Walk This Way” in the clip above!

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