D.M.C. Once Contemplated Suicide. From Adoption To J.M.J.’s Death, He Embodies Triumph (Video)

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Last week, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels stopped by CBC Radio to sit down with Shadrach Kabango (also known by his MC name, Shad) for an interview on Kabango’s Q program. For more than 45 minutes, the two discussed the Hip-Hop pioneer’s life and career, both past and present.

Clad in an Aerosmith shirt that serves as an understated nod to Run-D.M.C.’s historic crossover hit with the Rock band, “Walk This Way,” McDaniels gladly serves up animated anecdotes with such passion, it’s difficult not to feel the energy radiate through the screen. Immediately, the conversation launches into the Run-D.M.C. influence on Hip-Hop culture today, and McDaniels unabashedly remarks on the group’s enduring legacy. “Kids now they go see Drake or Young Thug and then, you know, the older people wait until, you know, Slick Rick or De La [Soul] come along. But when Run-D.M.C. takes the stage, you see the families together.”

A considerable portion of the conversations deals with McDaniels’ work with children, particularly in the form of talks and lectures. Around the 15:40 mark, Kabango asks McDaniels to share with listeners some of the things he discusses with them, beginning with the idea of creativity. “I tell the kids, I tell ’em ‘you thought of something you want to be? It’s done, but you gotta go through the process.” He has some specific advice for kids who want to become musicians, too. “So you want to sing like Rihanna and Beyonce, but you too cool to join the glee club? Oh, you wanna rap or play this but you don’t want to go play in the church…or play in the school band? Everybody who ever dominated at anything started with all the corny uncool stuff.”

McDaniels brings some of his personal battles to the forefront of the interview at the 27:00 mark. “I didn’t know what it was…it was killin’ me. I would come off stage every night and just lay in my hotel room…so I’m going through this long depression and I get to the point where…depression is funny ’cause you get to the point where you just don’t want to live with it. I wanted to commit suicide because of these depressive feelings.” He then goes on to share some painful insight into his upbringing, particularly the fact that he learned he was adopted. “Right then and there my soul goes ‘I’m really going to kill myself now…but then this peace came over me.”

DMC also speaks on performing without Jam Master Jay (“it’s like seeing [Paul] McCartney and Ringo [Starr] show up and do a song…it’s not The Beatles”), what he’s learned along the way about himself, the relationship between comic books and Hip-Hop, the early days of his friendship with Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, the downside to today’s Hip-Hop (“as long as you’re negative and making money, then it’s ‘oh, he’s successful!'”), and much more. Check it out.

Related: DMC Attributes Run-DMC’s “Downfall” to Negative Music, Urges Rick Ross To Own His Past (Audio)