In the music
- Run DMC released a landmark single in hip hop - Walk This Way. A collaboration with rock giants Aerosmith it made Run DMC the first hip hop group to break into the US mainstream. At the time rock dominated everything, but through this collaboration they became the first rap group to be played on MTV, be on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and to have a platinum-selling album. Following their single My Adidas, they started the rap trend for signing sports merchandising deals after signing with the German sportswear company.
- Erick B and Rakim released their debut Eric B Is President on small Harlem label Zakia. By the summer of 1986 the tune has blown up the streets and larger label 4th & Broadway signed them up. Hip hop infamy for the duo was on its way.
- Billy Ocean was born in the Caribbean but moved to the UK where he worked for a car manufacturer by day and sang in the clubs by night. By 1986 his music career had taken off in the US as he released his biggest hit. Taken from the soundtrack to the film Jewel Of The Nile, the single When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Gets Going took Ocean to global fame.
- The Beastie Boys released their debut album Licensed to Ill. A mix of punk, hip hop and fratboy jokes, the album divided people. Right wing groups thought it was sexist; hardcore hip hoppers thought of the Beasties as plagiarists. But thanks to the infectiously dumb hit single Fight For Your Right (To Party), the album became one of the biggest selling hip hop albums of the 1980s.
- Andre Harrell left Def Jam to start his own label entitled Uptown, showcasing a more slicker refined sound bridging hip hop with RnB.