Future archaeologists will discuss two periods in 1980s: before Run-DMC and after Run-DMC. The group’s sound, which was laid out muscularly on Run-DMC, had a harder approach than their peers, thanks to producer Larry Smith’s use of live musicians who laid down grooves but didn’t soften the edges. Lyrically the group wasn’t just about brags either, with songs like “Hard Times,” “It’s Like That” and “Wake Up” (the first two were singles). Run’s and DMC’s overlapping tag-team approach to lyricism was powerful and immensely influential. “Rock Box,” another single and arguably the centerpiece of the album, was a nod to their hard edge, and a foreshadowing of their first worldwide smash, 1985’s “King Of Rock.” Jam Master Jay’s DJ work was stellar, knowing exactly when to jump in and put listeners’ ears in a headlock.