It's Tricky

Album: Raising Hell (1986)
Charted: 16 57
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Songfacts®:

  • The beat came from the guitar riff on The Knack's 1979 hit "My Sharona." Run-D.M.C. had a knack for finding samples that made their tracks instantly recognizable and palatable for a wide audience at a time when rap was generally considered a passing fad.
  • Raising Hell was one of the first rap albums to enter the mainstream and sell to listeners who weren't familiar with the genre. This song explains the rapping isn't as easy as it sounds, and the chorus is almost a tongue twister as Run-D.M.C.'s MCs show off their vocal dexterity: "It's tricky to rock a rhyme to rock a rhyme that's right on time."
  • As hip-hop turned gangsta in the early '90s, you didn't hear many rappers boasting about clean living, but Run-D.M.C. made a lot of positive statements in their raps, including in this song where they explain their aversion to drugs: "They offer dope and lots of coke, but we just leave it alone."
  • The album was produced by Rick Rubin. This was unusual because he is a rock producer, and has worked with artists like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, System of a Down and Tom Petty. His approach helped make the album a huge hit among a wide audience, including lots of white people who had never bought a rap album before.
  • This was featured in the movie Road Trip, where a Black fraternity performs a step show to it. After a few beverages, a skinny white guy who is visiting the house gets up and breaks into a mean Irish jig. The song was also played in the party scene of the movie Friday Night Lights. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Heidi - Orillia, ON
  • In 2006, The Knack's Doug Fieger and Berton Averre sued Run-D.M.C. and their associates, as well as various online stores and content providers, for using an unlicensed sample. In reference to why it had taken twenty years to bring their case to court, the group said they had only recently become aware of the track.

Comments: 10

  • Ken from Philadelphia, PaAlways loved the song. But it has to be noted that, in addition to stealing the beat from The Knack's "My Sharona", they lifted the spine of the chorus from the otherwise dreadful, early-80s, semi-novelty tune, "Mickey" by Toni Basil. If you doubt it, play either song and sing the chorus from the other.... it fits like a glove, and yes, they say "Tricky" in all the spots where Toni Basil says "Mickey". To be clear, none of that takes away from what an awesome song this is. Heck, if anything, it makes the song even more amazing. They took the steaming pile of monkey poo that was "Mickey" and turned it into something incredible.
  • Marissa from Akron, OhThis song is played at all my university's basketball games. We go crazy when they turn this song on. It's just so fun to dance to.
  • Luke from Manchester, Englandand you mean you've HEARD better
  • Luke from Manchester, EnglandIt's spelt 'Psyche'
  • Mitch from Kansas City, Mowoohoo!!! this song freaking owns, i mean it is just unbeatable, and run dmc is all from the heart!!
  • Tom from Adelaide, AustraliaThis piece is my recital, I think its very vital, to rock around, thats right all th' time its tricky its a trick HERE WE GO!
    Great song, very tricky...
  • Paul from London, EnglandThe remix of this song for their greatest hits album was, i believe, the first and only made without the late great Jam Master Jay
  • Sean from Toronto, CanadaThis song was also featured in the movie (and on the soundtrack) "Can't Hardly Wait" with Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ethan Embry, and Seth Green.
  • Alex from Albany, NyIt wasn't unusual for Rick Rubin to produce it. He started out as a hip-hop producer, and he was also one of the co-founders of Def Jam Records.
  • Horace from Western, MdThe video for this song was the first video Penn and Teller appeared in.
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