Written By:Christopher Levine
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You are about to read my interview with DMC, aka Darryl McDaniels, aka D, aka Darryl Mack, aka…hands down, one of the most influential Rappers of all time.
Being able to interview him was such a thrill as a long time listener. It was surreal to ask him, say, who he feels is a great MC. It felt like I was asking Picasso who his favorite painter was…
Few would argue that this man is Hip Hop royalty, and it was a privilege to be a part of this.
Enjoy the below.
CL: People have a tendency to only relate an artist’s personal tastes to
the music they themselves make…for example assuming all Metal artists only
like Metal, all Rappers only like Rap…I’m sure you have experienced this.
But I have read that your influences musically are all over the map. Who
are artists in various genres that you feel have always been inspirational
to you personally?
DMC: My influences are the artists that inspired me way before I even thought
of being a recording artist myself. AM radio played artists such as Harry
Chapin, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, The Beatles, The Doobie Brothers, Creedence
Clearwater Revival, Neil Young, Crosby Stills Nash…and Young, Elton John,
Janis Joplin…and a whole host of other rockers and folk rockers whose music
spoke to my soul! Their music was relevant then and even now to the social, political and
personal aspects of my life. Everything they sing about I live, feel and
CL: The first Rap vinyl I bought as a kid…in the sixth grade (!) was the
first Run DMC record, which of course I still have. When putting it out,
did you feel the world would catch on like it did at the time?
DMC: I had no idea the whole world would catch on! I just was hoping to have
a song on radio to play next to “The Message” and “Planet Rock” and to impress
my idols The Cold Crush Brothers.
CL: Songs like “Rock Box” and “King of Rock” fused Rock and Rap for the masses to levels never explored before. How would you say that idea developed back then?
DMC: Because all the pioneering deejays who started Hip Hop like Kool Herc,
Bambaataa, Flash, and Grandwizard Theodore for example, always had rock break
beats in the crates of records they would play for their emcees to rhyme
over, I always told Jay and Run we have to make the “Toys In The Attic” loop and
rhyme over it!
CL: You actually called it the “Toys in the Attic” loop?
DMC: I didn’t know it was called “Walk This Way!” Never heard the
lyrics! But deejays always had rock beats along with disco break beats and
ames Brown funky drummer breaks!
CL: Jam Master Jay was truly one of the first global superstar DJ’s and
still is. What would you say was your favorite quality that he had as a
person and a friend? If this is too personal I understand…
DMC: (emphatically) Jam Master Jay had the most motivating and inspiring qualities ever embodied in a person! He found potential and goodness in everything.
CL: How did you find yourself involved on the new Public Enemy “RLTK” Track?
DMC: DJ Johnny Juice of Public Enemy is also one of PE’s great producers, so
he always knew me and Chuck should make a song together, and when he came up
with an incredible 808 drum based song in need of some powerful visionary
lyrics, he knew this was one of the first songs we should record together.
CL: Speaking of collaborations, how did your single “Attention Please” with Pauley P come about?
DMC: The “Attention Please” song with Pauley Perrette came about when a friend
heard the chorus and knew it needed two people who are serious about doing
powerfully positive messages. It was a natural fit because Pauley is a great
singer and artist, she’s a real rocker!
CL: When I interviewed Chuck D last year, I asked him how being from Long
Island growing up affected his musical direction. How do you feel that
growing up in Hollis Queens helped shaped your musical style?
DMC: When you listen to “Christmas In Hollis” and “Sucker MCs” you can tell how much
growing up in Queens is a part of my music. Every rhyme from these songs to
“Son Of Byford” are true and actual facts of my life.
CL: A few years ago, I saw “DMC: My Adoption Journey” on television, which
was an extremely touching film. What made you decide to make such a strong
personal moment public?
DMC: I did the “My Adoption Journey” doc because I knew there are a lot of
People…young and old from all nations and religions…who are orphans, foster
kids, or adopted; and I want them to know they are not alone. Like the song I
did with Sarah McLachlan says “there’s a lot of people JUST LIKE ME! There’s
a whole lot JUST LIKE ME!!!”
CL: Who does DMC consider an example of an incredible rapper? From any time period?
DMC: Chuck D of Public Enemy is the best ever! Andre 3000 is a real close
CL: Is there anything Eclectiblogs can help spread the word out on for you
at this time- a new record coming out?
DMC: I’m putting out new single and video ‘round my birthday May 31st called
“Noise Revolution” with Wayne Static (Static X) and droppin’ an album soon with
the lead single “She Gets Me High” featuring Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe, Sebastian Bach
from Skid Row and the incomparable Travis Barker from Blink 182!
Watch out yall I got an army of musician friends…
…and we are on a mission!!! Love!
*On a personal note, I find it very gratifying that many of those who I feel are innovators in the musical universe make themselves accessible to Eclectiblogs. They clearly don’t have to, but often they do. In the Public Enemy track “Everything” Chuck D says he’s “…got no problem if you approach me.” I personally can testify that he’s being truthful, as it was in the case with DMC.
Thank you all for your willingness and your time, as well as to your cooperative and professional representation…such as Tracey Miller & Associates…for making this possible. -cl