Black History Month honoree Darryl “DMC” McDaniels is a hip-hop legend and a founding member of Run DMC. Over the course of his career, McDaniels has been inducted into the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame, invited to the White House and appeared before Congress. Run DMC was the first rap group to grace the cover of “Rolling Stone Magazine” and to appear on MTV.
“Me and Run’s goal, we wanted to be the best DJs and emcees that people would ever see for however long it would ever last,” McDaniels tells Mullins. “We knew we loved it, but we didn’t foresee it being as gigantic.” “You know the saying music calms the savage beast? That energy – what Run DMC did, we tapped into the positive power of communication,” he adds.
McDaniels says their success didn’t just come from their music, but also their message. “We were young people who demanded more from each other,” he says. “Everybody can rap, but could you make a record that’s going to touch somebody’s life? So that would challenge us as little kids to sit down and investigate and be creative.”
“When somebody called the rhyming art, the DJing art, the graffiti art, it wasn’t about money. It made us feel like we were worth something. And that was the mentality that was able to carry hip-hop to where it is today,” he adds. McDaniels continues to create music and plans to release a new album in the spring called “Flames,” which will focus on police-involved shootings.
“This record is not dealing with, it’s not political, it’s not taking sides, it’s just saying if we sit down and focus on not pulling those triggers, no more people get shot, now we don’t have another beef to waste our time, now we can go solve the problems that need to be solved,” he says. He calls the project “DMC,” or “dynamic musical collaborations,” saying he’s working with several other musicians, including Joan Jett, Tim Armstrong, Mick Mars, Travis Barker and Sum 41.
“I’m working with a generationally diverse, eclectic mix of writers, musicians and producers to show people that rock isn’t dead and hip-hop will never die,” he says. McDaniels is also the author of “10 Ways Not To Commit Suicide,” and a philanthropist who contributes to causes helping children without parents. “Their situation doesn’t define who they are, and I want them to know that,” he says.
To learn more about what McDaniels is working on, visit his website.