It was the collaboration that changed music forever. Now join our annotations. (From the Bill Adler archive at the Cornell Hip Hop Collection)

There’s no question that “Walk This Way” sparked a revolution, as you can read about in our massive oral history. Run-DMC’s 1986 smash redo of Aerosmith’s classic hit – with help from Steven Tyler and Joe Perry – put rap onto mainstream rock radio. Suddenly, white kids in the suburbs could hear the brilliance of Run-DMC, Kool Moe Dee and Public Enemy. Tyler and Perry wrote the original “Walk” in 1975, but Run and D played with it after finding the lyrics, at first blush, to be “hillbilly gibberish.” Want to know more about the song that changed music forever? Using Genius, I annotated it and you can, too.

[The inside story of when Run-DMC met Aerosmith and changed music forever]

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Now there’s a backseat lover, that’s always undercover
And we talk ’til my daddy say
Said you ain’t seen nothing, ’til you’re down on a muffin
And there’s sure to be a change in ways
Now there’s a cheerleader, that’s a real big breeder
As far as I can reminisce
But the best thing of loving, was her sister and her cousin
And it started with a little kiss, like this!

See-saw swinging, with the boys in school
And her feet are just fly up in the air
Singing, “Hey diddle diddle with a kitty in the middle”
And they swinging like it just didn’t care
So I took a big chance, at the high school dance
With a lady who was ready to play
It wasn’t me, she was foolin’
Cause she knew what was she was doin’
When she told me how to walk this way!

Walk this way
Talk this way
Walk this way
Talk this way
Walk this way
Talk this way
Walk this way
Talk this way
Well just gimme a kiss

Oooh, like this!

School girl sleazy with a classy kind of sassy
Little skirt climbing way up her knee
It was three young ladies, in the school gym locker
And they find they were looking at D
I was high school loser, never made it with a lady
‘Til a boy told me something I missed
That my next door neighbor, had a daughter had a favor
So I gave the girl a little kiss, like this

See-saw swinging with the boys in the school
With her feet flying up in the air
Singing, “Hey diddle diddle, with a kitty in the middle”
I was swinging like I didn’t care
So I took a big chance at the high school dance
With a lady who was ready to play
Wasn’t me she was foolin’
When she knew what she was doin’
When she told me how to walk this way