As a key member of Run DMC, one of rap's most groundbreaking and influential groups, DMC has had his place in the pop music pantheon long secured. His 2006 solo album bears the stamp of his group's innovative sound from the 1980s: boom-bap beats, crunching guitars, and straightforward verses with full end-stop rhymes. The rap game has changed considerably since the Golden Era, and where DMC's raps were once revolutionary, they now sound quaintly old-school. Yet familiarity is part of the appeal of CHECKS, THUGS AND ROCK & ROLL. DMC employs samples and tags from Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" (on "Watchtower") and Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle" (on "Just Like Me") while delivering his still-powerful flow. Guest appearances from Doug E. Fresh, Kid Rock, Sarah McLachlan (yup, you read that right), and his old cohort Run make the disc a fun, varied listen.
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