Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels heads here to fight cancer

By Bill Zwecker | Get In Touch: @billzwecker | bzwecker@suntimes.com

 

Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, one of the original founders of the iconic Run-DMC rap group, will be in Chicago Thursday, but not to play music. The entertainer has teamed up with the Lucky Strike bowling and entertainment brand to promote the Conquer Cancer Coalition. We spoke earlier this week about that — but also about what McDaniels is working on musically.
Q: How did you come to be involved with the Conquer Cancer Coalition?
A: It’s an incredible program. It’s a way to have huge impression on something as important as cancer. The reason I was attracted to this was that it deals with all types of cancer, not just one. There are a lot of cancer initiatives that are specific for one kind of cancer or another, but this one covers them all.
Q: Do you have a personal connection to cancer awareness? Obviously, so many of us have been touched by this disease, one way or another.
A: My father died of liver cancer. If you remember in ’86 on the ‘Raisin Hell’ album there was a song called ‘Son of Byford.’ It was about my father. I didn’t rhyme about how much money I had or stuff like that. Musically, I always thought about the most important thing you can have which is a loving family. So when Lucky Strike approached me about this program, I related to it.
Q: Have you learned a bit about the fight against cancer working on this.
A: Yes, you learn how everything needs to be integrated — the research, the treatment, and even a continuous dialogue about cancer. It affects everyone. The guy affected by leukemia can sit and talk with the people who have been affected by skin cancer. This program brings together the whole cancer scenario, under one big umbrella.
Q: What else do you like about this program?
A: I also was attracted because of the Lucky Strike connection. What is more about family than bowling! Their bowling lounges are so elegant. I like the fact they give a fun feeling — because of their locations — to a dark issue.
Q: Speaking of bowling, how good a bowler are you?
A: I’m an okay bowler, but the funny thing with bowling is — when you first start, when you don’t do it a lot, that first ball, you may throw a strike. But then after that, everything goes down hill, because after that, you’ll roll a couple of gutter balls.
I kind of relate bowling to golf — despite the fact the balls are a lot different in size! Because when you go to play golf — and if you haven’t played in awhile — you’ll go out and hit a good one. But then, the rest of your game will be in the toilet.
Q: What’s going on with you musically these days?
A: Right now I’m working on a new album. Mostly what we did with Run-DMC we almost always worked with a DJ. This new album will be all about live music. Live drums, live guitars, live bass — live musicians. The single will drop at the end of the year. The album should drop at the beginning of the New Year.
Q: Any Chicago thoughts?
A: I love Chicago I love the city and I love the food. I even love your deep dish pizza. My friends in New York always say New York pizza is the best. I say they’re both good. In fact, when I’m in Chicago this week I’m going to have a slice of regular pizza — along with the deep dish pizza _ both together.