Sunday, November 14, 2021

This Custom Card Might Call You a Sucker MC

Last year I created a Beastie Boys custom card using the 1982 Topps "Future Stars" design. It's been a big hit, and recently I thought about another world-class trio of the era that would look terrific on the 1982 template.

It's Run-DMC!

Chronologically, it's perfect. McDaniels, Mizell, and Simmons first teamed up around 1982, officially founded Run-DMC in 1983, and released their first album in 1984.

As for the design elements, similar to the Beastie Boys card, I used baseball-themed backgrounds from a few of the original 1982 Topps cards. I also inserted the stage names DMC, Jam Master Jay, and Run where the fielding positions would normally appear.

And this trio was an absolute sensation. How much so? I can illustrate by sharing an experience that two of my elementary school friends and I had back around '86 or '87—particularly a friend named David:
It was summer vacation, and we'd been playing at a nearby field. Dusk was quickly approaching, which meant it was time for us to get home. We all lived within a few houses of each other, and only had one more block to walk when a bigger kid stopped us. (In retrospect, he was probably only in middle school or high school, but when you're 8 or 9 years old, that translates to huge and intimidating.)

Big Intimidating Kid: What are you doing?
David: Going home.
Big Intimidating Kid: You live around here?
David: Yes.
Big Intimidating Kid: You ever hear of Run-DMC?
David: Yeah. Those are my initials. 
Big Intimidating Kid: What do you mean?
David: My initials are D-M-C (Proceeds to say his first, middle, and last name out loud.)
Big Intimidating Kid: Ah man, now we're friends. (Holds out hand, gives David a low-five.)
And then he went his way and we went ours. Home in time for dinner, a confrontation dispelled by the power of music.
But don't just take my word for it. Watch this video and then tell me you didn't get into it, or at least smile once or twice.

One thing about the group I appreciate is that their lyrics, by and large, were not raunchy, explicit, or violent. It was much more about rhyming, dominance, skill, and fun. Listen to a song like Peter Piper or You Be Illin' for more examples.
Also of note, in 1986 Run-DMC partnered with Aerosmith to create a new version of the rock band's 1975 hit Walk This Way. The crossover helped introduce countless rock fans to rap, and vice versa. (Watch the music video for more guaranteed entertainment.)

It's one thing to have the members of Run-DMC on a Future Stars card, but the 1982 Topps set has a perfect "In Action" template that I wanted to use as well.

Can't get much better than an image showing the three guys doing their thing at an outdoor concert.

So that's that. Another two custom cards in the books. Any Run-DMC fans out there? Favorite song? Share in the comment section, and thanks for reading!


PS: Things will get pretty busy at work for the rest of the calendar year, which means these Run-DMC customs will be the final two custom cards for the 2021 series. I've placed a print order for all the 2021 customs, and once they arrive I'll hold another giveaway like I did for the 2019s and 2020s. Stay tuned for that!
PPS: Speaking of giveaways, come back next Sunday for a chance to take part in a smaller one.


  1. Fantastic custom! I memorized most of Raising Hell back in high school. I still bust out Son of Byford to my students from time to time. Hard to pick a favorite, since I like most of the songs on that album. I guess I'll go with Proud to Be Black.

    1. Thanks very much, Fuji! You've had some fun experiences there.

  2. Yeah, I LOVE Run-DMC. Got into them shortly after their first album came out, after hearing it from a guy in my dorm (who now, incidentally, is one of the most prominent local news anchors in New York City). Saw them live a bunch of times in their heyday. So I love these cards!

    I think my favorite song would actually be "Jam Master Jay", but "Sucker MCs (Krush-Groove 1)", "Rock Box", "King Of Rock", and "Hit It Run" are up there too. Other than maybe The Beatles, I don't know that anyone's ever made three albums in a row, let alone their first three albums, as great as the first three Run-DMC albums.

    1. They really did have one hit song after another back in their heyday. If they were one a baseball team, I think you'd have to bat them 3, 4, and 5 in the lineup.

  3. I like that In Action card quite a bit.

    Not much of a rap fan so can't say I have a favorite song of theirs. Will always prefer the original Walk This Way.

    1. Thanks very much, Night Owl! Hard to beat an original, isn't it? The first version I heard was the Aerosmith/Run-DMC collaboration. So imagine my surprise when I learned that Aerosmith had written the original years earlier!

  4. Nice work! I might go with "It's Tricky" as my favorite of theirs. And I'm sure to listen to "Christmas In Hollis" at least a couple times every December.

    1. Thanks Gavin! It's nice to have traditions. ;-)

  5. I'm not a rap fan, but I can't help myself but sing along to "It's Tricky" when I hear it.

    1. They had some catchy little ditties, didn't they?

  6. Steven Tyler used to say in interviews that Run DMC was responsible for resurrecting Aerosmith's career, as prior to their cover, and subsequent duet, of Walk This Way, Aerosmith had all but already been forgotten, and Steven Tyler was living in a rundown roach infested apartment at the time. The initial cover came out, then the duet video went over like gangbusters, and Aerosmith was back in the public eye, and now has been pretty much ever since.

    Great cards btw, I have no doubt that these will be generating some sales for you :)

    1. Great information, Jon! Thanks very much for adding to the story here. And stay tuned for a giveaway in a few weeks for a chance to claim these Run-DMC (or other) custom cards from the 2021 list.