McDaniels, Darryl 1964-

views updated

McDANIELS, Darryl 1964-


Born May 31, 1964, in New York, NY; Education: Attended St. John's University.


Office—Rush Artists, 1600 Varick St., New York, NY 10013. Agent—c/o Author Mail, St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.


Rap musician with the group Run-D.M.C., 1982-2002; has appeared in films and on television; author.


(With Bruce Haring) King of Rock: Respect, Responsibility, and My Life with Run-DMC, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2001.


Darryl McDaniels (D.M.C.), Joseph Simmons (Run), and Jason Mizell (Jam Master Jay) of the rap group Run-DMC are widely considered to be the founding fathers of hip-hop. They are credited not only with developing the sound and clothing style of the genre, but also for bringing rap music into the mainstream. The three were childhood friends who grew up together in Hollis, Queens, New York City. They formed a group called Orange Crush while attending high school at St. Pascal's, and the trio became known as Run-DMC in 1982. Run-DMC's rise to fame was rapid, and by 1984 the group's self-titled album went gold, the first rap album reach that pinnacle. Their subsequent albums, King of Rock and Raising Hell, were the first rap albums to go platinum and multi-platinum, respectively. They were the first rap group to appear on MTV, and they gained widespread radio-play with a remake of the Aerosmith hit "Walk This Way." The group's fame peaked in the 1980s, but they were still a popular act when Run-D.M.C. disbanded in 2002 following Mizell's murder. In King of Rock: Respect, Responsibility, and My Life with Run-DMC, McDaniels recounts—with the help of Bruce Haring—the group's ascent to stardom, replete with insider anecdotes about the industry, the group's womanizing, and McDaniels' alcohol and drug abuse and subsequent recovery.

A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called King of Rock, which contains an introduction by fellow rapper and actor Will Smith, a "hard-hitting yet sensitive autobiography." While it shows the gritty side of the business, the reviewer felt that it also displays McDaniels's "sometimes rough attempts to understand his role as a husband and father as well as his growing spiritual consciousness." Tracy Grant, for Black Issues Book Review, found the book's strongest feature to be "McDaniels' unique point of view and how he experienced the world as a young man." She also noted that while the first half of the book was "an enjoyable read," it later shifts from "biography to a confusing blend of motivational messages and vague observations." In Booklist Mike Tribby found that McDaniels' take on the rap industry "proves thoughtful," and that "thanks to rock writer Haring," McDaniels "tells his and the band's story conversationally." He concluded that the book is "worthwhile reading for rap and rock fans."



Black Issues Book Review, September, 2001, Tracy Grant, review of King of Rock: Respect, Responsibility and My Life with Run-DMC, p. 48.

Booklist, March 15, 2001, Mike Tribby, review of King of Rock, p. 1341.

Entertainment Weekly, April 6, 2001, Tom Sinclair, review of King of Rock, pp. 111-112.

New York, November 17, 1986, Peter Blauner "The Rap on Run-DMC: The Kids from Hollis Strike Gold," pp.62-77.

Publishers Weekly, February 26, 2001, review of King of Rock, p. 70.


All-Music Guide, (October 7, 2003), biography of Run-DMC.

Philadelphia Weekly Online, (May 2, 2001), Holly Mack-Ward, review of King of Rock.

Rolling Stone Online, (October 7, 2003), biography of Run-DMC.

VH1 Web site, (October 7, 2003), biography of Run-DMC.*

About this article

McDaniels, Darryl 1964-

Updated About content Print Article