You might never have known that the guy who owned the top of the Hip Hop charts while simultaneously crowning himself The King of Rock grew up a comic book nerd and overcame years of depression and suicidal thoughts with inspiration he found in a Sarah McLachlan ballad.
Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, in town to perform at the Sixers Youth Foundation Gala, has a powerful message to share, “don’t be ashamed if you’re going through anything.” He spoke very candidly about his own battles with alcohol plus learning way too late in life that he was adopted and how that broke his confidence:
But most importantly he wants everyone to know that help is out there and your own happiness needs to be priority #1.
How did a straight A, comic book nerd become a pioneer of the rap world? “Oh shoot, you can tell stories of who you are over music?” he realized, "my entire career I was looking to be Mighty Thor on the microphone, one day I said: Thor is the son of Oden from Asgard, he’s got a brother named Loke and he has a hammer.” When a hammer magically becomes a microphone this is created:
I was born
Son of Byford, brother of Al
Bad as my mamma and Run's, my pal
It's McDaniels, not McDonald's
These rhymes are Darryl's, those burgers are Ronald's
I ran down, my family tree
My mother, my father, my brother and D
Run-D.M.C. found instant success and although they were never on the cover of JET or Ebony, Rolling Stone and SPIN praised them because they had the "balls" to say they were the Kings of Rock! But Darryl recalls something inside was empty and when he cried for help no one listened.
He was close to "jumping, shooting or drinking the poison" until he found an angel that changed his life. Sarah McLachlan's song 'Angel' reminded his once again that "it’s beautiful to be alive."
Therapy sessions led him to realize that what made him happiest: Comic books. He replaced the confidence and enthusiasm and excitement for creativity that he got from comics as a kid with a case of 40s a day because he was trying to live up to other people’s expectations.
Always be open to do something different and try something new because it might not just change your life, it could change the world.
Although he believes in being true to yourself, there is one project he resisted but ultimately cherishes despite the initial pressures: that little song Run-D.M.C. recorded with Aerosmith. You know the one? We'll let Darryl tell that story...
(that's your cue to scroll up an listen to the interview - it will somehow, some way change your life for the better.)
Look forward to getting you back in studio soon, Darryl, we have so much more to talk about!