It's Like That

Album: Run-D.M.C. (1983)
Charted: 1

Songfacts®:

  • Released on March 12, 1983, "It's Like That" was Run–D.M.C.'s first single. It became a club favorite along with its popular B-side, "Sucker M.C.'s."

    The song was written by the group's rappers, Joseph "Run" Simmons and Darry "D.M.C." McDaniels, and their producer, Larry Smith. There are no samples on the track, which was programmed on a Oberheim DMX synthesizer with vocal punctuations mixed in. It was Simmons who came up with the idea for the song after studying Kurtis Blow and getting encouragement from his older brother Russell (Blow's manager), who encouraged him to tell stories in his raps and give them a wide appeal through universal themes. "I thought I'd just tell people what the world is like, and how to improve themselves," said Run. "This was the seed idea for 'It's Like That.'"
  • This was the song that convinced Russell Simmons to work with the group. His younger brother Joseph (Run) had been pestering him for a while, but Russell insisted he finish high school before making a record. Run and D.M.C., who hadn't yet teamed up with Jam Master Jay, worked to together on "It's Like That," with D.M.C. adding some lyrics and hooks to Run's song. The pair graduated high school and went to separate colleges: Run to LaGuardia Community College (studying mortuary science) and D.M.C. to St. John's University. Teaming up with Jam Master Jay, they recorded this song with Russell's Rush Productions, getting lots of help from Rush's musical director Larry Smith. Russell was so impressed with the track that he sent them on his Fresh Fest tour with Newcleus and Whodini, and helped them record their debut album
  • In 1998, house music producer Jason Nevins remixed this, and the new version became the most successful rap single in the UK, spending six weeks at #1 and topping the charts in 30 other countries including Germany. Nevins received a standard fee of $5000 for his efforts.
  • When this reached #1, Run DMC became the first band to wait for over 10 years between their first hit ("Walk This Way" in 1986) and their first chart topper in the UK.

Comments: 4

  • Markantney from Biloxi, MsJul 2014, This was a Mega (R&B) Club hit back in 83-84. I think it had like 3 versions of the song, maybe more? But definitely a 12", Instrumental, and the Album Version, all were played in "Da Clubs".
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesPart of the reason why the 1998 remake of this song sold so well outside of the US having failed to chart elsewhere in 1984 was because it made headlines in the UK when it went to #1, largely due to the fact that it halted the Spice Girls (then a record) run of six consecutive #1s with their first six singles, "It's Like That" having held the Spice Girls' seventh release "Stop!" at #2. The UK music press had a field day at the expense of their most successful girl-band, and "It's Like That" remained at the top for six weeks and was the second-biggest selling UK singles chart release of 1998
  • Nathan from From The Country Of, Canadaa great 80's rap song, breakdancing beat, and a hell of a life-lesson song for the kids.
  • Marlow from Perthi never knew this was released b4 1998... well what do u know?
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Van Dyke Parks

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"They're Playing My Song

Chris and his wife Tina were the rhythm section for Talking Heads when they formed The Tom Tom Club. "Genius of Love" was their blockbuster, but David Byrne only mentioned it once.

Andy McClusky of OMD

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.

Sarah Brightman

Sarah BrightmanSongwriter Interviews

One of the most popular classical vocalists in the land is lining up a trip to space, which is the inspiration for many of her songs.

The Evolution of "Ophelia"

The Evolution of "Ophelia"Song Writing

How four songs portray Shakespeare's character Ophelia.

Rosanne Cash

Rosanne CashSongwriter Interviews

Rosanne talks about the journey that inspired her songs on her album The River & the Thread, including a stop at the Tallahatchie Bridge.