Childhood friends Joseph Simmons (aka Rev Run), Darryl McDaniels (DMC) and Jason Mizell (Jam-Master Jay) formed Run DMC whilst still in their teens and the group grew into one of the most influential hip hop groups of all time; taking the genre into the mainstream, becoming one of the early stars of MTV and crossing musical boundaries by sampling rock and heavy metal artists. Encouraged by Rev Run's older brother Russell Simmons, the band broke the mould by ditching funk and disco backing tracks in favour of sparse beats and brash, political raps. Early albums, Run-DMC (1984) and King of Rock (1985) became instant classics, paving the way for a new generation of street smart, b-boys bristling with attitude. But it was third album Raising Hell (1986) that turned them into superstars, reaching Number 4 on the Billboard charts and going triple platinum in the US. The breakthrough was the revolutionary single "Walk This Way" featuring rockers Aerosmith, which became a huge crossover hit and made them the first rap band to be played by MTV. Jason Nevins' remix of "The Way It Is" gave the group another huge hit in 1996, topping the charts in 30 countries and selling 5 million copies. But after seven studio albums the group came to an end in 2002 when Jam-Master Jay was murdered in his recording studio in Queens.