Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst don't want to walk Run- D.M.C.'s way as fully as Aerosmith once did.
That's why Run-D.M.C.'s long-awaited double album, Crown Royal, originally scheduled for release in October, won't come out until at least May. Run-D.M.C.'s label, Arista, has been unable to get approval from either Kid Rock's or Limp Bizkit's label to release songs they recorded with the rappers as singles.
"This collaboration was not done with a single in mind," Limp Bizkit's manager, Peter Katsis, said. "No one ever discussed it in advance."
"When these collaborations come up," Katsis continued, "it's Limp Bizkit saying, 'Cool, we'd like to do something with Run-D.M.C.' And that's how it starts. Then Run-D.M.C. and Arista hear it and say, 'We'd like to make this a single.' Well, that's a start-from-scratch negotiation.' "
"This kind of thing happens all the time," Danny Wright, director of urban artist development at Arista, said. "When you have another artist on your record, the timing needs to be sensitive when you release it. For example, the Rob Thomas duet with Santana was perfect timing, the single being the perfect segue to the new Matchbox 20 record." (Thomas, Matchbox 20's singer, sings on "Smooth," the first single from Santana's multiplatinum 1999 album, Supernatural, released on Arista.)
Lacking a lead-off single, Run-D.M.C. may have to return to the recording studio, further delaying the album's release.
"We'll just keep on recording until we get what we need for a single," Wright said.
Crown Royal will be the pioneering rap trio's first album since Down With the King (1993). Plenty of other stars are scheduled to appear on it, including the Beastie Boys, Sugar Ray, Aerosmith, Fat Joe, Slick Rick, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man and Nas.
It was with Aerosmith's Joe Perry and Steven Tyler that Run-D.M.C. recorded their pop breakthrough, a 1986 cover of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" (RealAudio excerpt). The Queens (N.Y.) trio, who formed in 1982, also are widely credited as the first to combine rap and rock, on their 1984 single "Rock Box."
Durst's group, Limp Bizkit, and Kid Rock became major rock stars in 1999
with their own rap-rock hybrids, and Run-D.M.C.'s manager, Tracey Miller,
confirmed that their labels are causing the holdup for her band.
The appeal of releasing a song featuring Kid Rock, whose recent hits
include "Bawitdaba" (RealAudio
excerpt), or Durst, whose band hit it big with "Nookie" (RealAudio
excerpt), is the increased chance of exposure on radio and MTV. Rappers Run (born Joseph Simmons) and D.M.C. (born Darryl McDaniels) performed with Kid Rock (born Bob Ritchie) at last year's MTV Video Music Awards and recorded with him in August in Detroit. (SonicNet is a division of the MTV Interactive group.)
"Most labels, when they spend this much money on an artist of this caliber, they need to have a single so that they can work not only the singles chart, but that they can release a video," Miller said.
The collaboration with Kid Rock will appear on the record but will not be a single, according to Wright.
The issue with the Durst track is more complicated, Miller said.
Limp Bizkit's manager, Katsis, said two tracks were recorded: "T'em Girls," which Run-D.M.C. preferred, and a second track that Durst liked, but Run-D.M.C. decided not to use.
"The [first] track they did, the label loved, but Fred Durst wasn't happy with it," Miller said. "So they went back in, and redid a track that Fred Durst liked, but the label didn't like." That one ended up on the cutting-room floor.
And when the issue of a single came up, "They call up the label and they [Interscope, Limp Bizkit's label] say, 'There's a Bizkit single we're working right now,' " Katsis said. "And it's right for Interscope to have concerns about the current releases out."
Interscope is currently pushing the fourth single from Limp Bizkit's 1999 album, Significant Other, which has sold more than 6 million copies.
"For whatever reason, we can't time it right to get these singles out," Wright said.
One track that may not make the album at all is a Steve Miller Band cover that Run-D.M.C. recorded with former House of Pain frontman Everlast. According to Tracey Miller, the song included alternate lyrics, which requires permission from the songwriter, and he hasn't granted it.
Meanwhile, "everybody's just waiting 'When's the album coming out, already?' " Miller said.
"It hasn't really affected (the group)," she said. "They've been able to tour for the past seven years without a record out there ... It's Run-D.M.C., it's not like people are going to read about it, and then in six months, forget who they are."