Michelle Dawn Mooney Conversations

RUN DMC's Darryl McDaniels

June 04, 2024 Michelle Dawn Mooney Season 1 Episode 1
RUN DMC's Darryl McDaniels
Michelle Dawn Mooney Conversations
More Info
Michelle Dawn Mooney Conversations
RUN DMC's Darryl McDaniels
Jun 04, 2024 Season 1 Episode 1
Michelle Dawn Mooney

Michelle Dawn Mooney chats with Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Run DMC co-founder Darryl McDaniels about a career that took him by surprise, the discovery of a big family secret and a battle with depression and alcoholism that had him contemplating suicide. Darryl also talks about how he's sharing his story to help save the lives others, his ventures in comics and cookies, and new music on the way with heavy hitters like Travis Barker, Sebastian Bach, Joan Jett,  Mick Mars and Sammy Hagar. 

Show Notes Transcript

Michelle Dawn Mooney chats with Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Run DMC co-founder Darryl McDaniels about a career that took him by surprise, the discovery of a big family secret and a battle with depression and alcoholism that had him contemplating suicide. Darryl also talks about how he's sharing his story to help save the lives others, his ventures in comics and cookies, and new music on the way with heavy hitters like Travis Barker, Sebastian Bach, Joan Jett,  Mick Mars and Sammy Hagar. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: [00:00:00] Hey, it's Michelle. Welcome to Conversations. So happy you're here and so happy to be back with you after a bit of a hiatus. Almost two years, in fact. And I'm looking forward to some new episodes coming your way this summer. But in the meantime, I'll be sharing a few from the vault. In 2021, I had the opportunity to chat with hip hop legend, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and co founder of Run DMC, Darryl D.

M. C. McDaniels, who admits his career in music. came as a surprise. 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: I was writing my rhymes for me to hear to say to myself. I didn't want nobody to see me do it. You know, I was down in my basement in front of the mirror. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Despite his fame and fortune, however, for many years, Darryl battled the demons of alcohol, and depression..

Then there was the big secret that almost put him over the edge. 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: I was an alcoholic, suicidal, metaphysical, spiritual wreck who was about to jump off the bridge. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: One of the biggest reasons I wanted to share this interview with you right now stems from the recent and shocking news of [00:01:00] golfer Grayson Murray, who tragically took his own life at the age of 30, a day after stopping play and withdrawing from a tournament.

Like Darryl, Grayson had also struggled with alcoholism and depression. And perhaps the most poignant part of Darryl's story is his challenge to all of us to be more present and aware of those around us who might be hurting, sometimes silently. 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: It wasn't until I started talking that other people would come out the closet and say, me too.

So just by having a dialogue. The dialogue is the thing that saves lives. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Not only did Darryl write a book about his experiences to help save others, but a very confusing time in his life led to the formation of an organization that is giving hope to kids across the country. And we'll end on a sweet note, as not only is Darryl known as the King of Rock, he's also become a King of Comics, and Cookies.

And he's got some new music on the way as well that due to some delays is scheduled to come out later in 2024, [00:02:00] but he talks about it in this interview. So here it is. Hope you enjoy my conversation with Darryl DMC McDaniels. I think this is so fascinating. We will get into the fact that you are kind of, uh, a comic book king right now.

You've you dabbled in the comic book world, but it's become much more than dabbling. It actually helped to fund how you started in music. I heard a story that it was through a comic book sale or the selling of comic books that you were able to purchase the equipment that basically launched your music career.

Tell us about that. 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: Yeah, that's a true story. Uh, back in the late seventies, When hip hop came over the bridge from Queens, I mean from the Bronx and the Queens, all of a sudden everybody wanted to get turntables. Everybody wanted to be a DJ like Grandmaster Flash and the Grand Wizard Theodore and Charlie Chase and all the DJs and stuff like that.

But me and my brother, we had a problem. [00:03:00] We couldn't get no turntables. Number one, we didn't have jobs. Number two, you know, we got an allowance, but it wasn't enough to get no, you know, electronic stereo equipment. And growing up in Queens, most of the older kids, the older youth, I mean, you know, the guys that were particularly around the age of 17 to 22 years old, If you didn't sell weed, you was broke.

So me and my brother, we didn't sell weed. We didn't have a job. Our allowance wasn't enough, but we had this huge comic book collection, so the McDaniels Brothers put on a comic book sale in a neighborhood, and we raised enough money to get two turntables and a mix, and a funny story out of that, the doorbell rings on a Sunday.

It was like a three day process. One Sunday, the doorbell rings and it's Joseph Simmons, the guy that was in the other class at my Catholic school, St. Paschal Bailon Elementary [00:04:00] School. He comes over, Hey, Joe, how you doing? Hey, Darryl. He came in, brought some comic books. It went home. Four years later, me and that guy that came to my house to buy comic books so me and my brother could get turntables, called me up and said, yo, I'm putting you in my group.

My brother's letting me make an hip hop song and we're going to be run DMC. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: That is incredible. That, it's unbelievable. How crazy is that? How cool to, to really have things come full circle. Which we will get to, but what an awesome, awesome story. So you get launched into this career. Maybe unknowingly, I would assume unknowingly to, to reach the pinnacle that you did.

I mean, when you got involved with music, did you ever in your wildest dreams imagine where it would lead to? 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: No, not at all. I never wanted to be in the music business. I was writing my rhymes for me to hear, to say to myself. I didn't want nobody to see me do it. You know, I was down in my basement in front of the mirror.

This was my private [00:05:00] little thing. It was like my little imagination thing. You know, the same way we played with, Um, you know, guys play with G. I. Joe or girls play with Barbie doll or, you know, when you play with your toys and you're making believe, you know, you put your favorite blanket on your neck, you become Superman or, you know, you put your mother's jewelry on and her shoes and you become the princess and a queen.

It was all pretend and make believe. I didn't want to really do that, that was Grandmaster Flash's job to really do it, but the beauty of it was that Run saw that I had it in me. He wanted to do it, he wanted to perform, you know, his brother was Russell Simmons, before Rap Records, Russell was already managing the local hip hop groups.

So Run saw this genre, this new music, this culture, being, um, commercialized and monetized in his living room every day. But for me, it was something that I heard that I was just emulating. [00:06:00] The same way I took my father's tin trash can and, um, the trash can literally said, I'm Captain America. was the same way I was just pretending to be this rap guy Eazy D.

But Run said, yo, you could really do this. And he put it on, he put me on a record with him and shared it with the world. And I guess it was good enough to have a, make an impression. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Yeah, I think so. So a side note with that, because you have influenced so many people. Just to refresh my memory, I saw when you were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Eminem, and he just could not speak more highly about the impact that not only you had, but the people that you in turn, you know, you put into that.

whatever it was in their heart to want to go into the music business. 50 cents. It just goes on and on and on. So what piece of advice, if there's anybody out there, any advice you would have talking to that young Darryl who didn't think that they could do it, who never even imagined in their [00:07:00] wildest dreams that they could be in music, what advice would you give them?

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: I was watching the show. It was called the discovery, the discovery of witches. And it was about witches and warlocks and werewolves and vampires and, and all of that stuff and zombies and everything. And it was this one girl who her bloodline was part of this family of great witches. And she didn't want to claim it.

She didn't want to claim it. And when she was ready to claim it, she only claimed it because she realized she could do good with it. So then she goes to the head, which we had to teach her about it. And the first thing she had to do was just make a candle light without, you know, using a matching, whatever.

And she couldn't do it, and she kept failing, she kept failing, she kept failing. And she said to herself, I can't do this, I don't understand the art and the mystic and what goes into it. And the witch said, honey, this ain't no mystical, magical, magic thing. [00:08:00] She said, the magic is in just having the desire to create, to see it done.

And that was the most powerful thing that I could hear at this stage in my life. All that's going on in the world. So to the young Darryl, or to the young person, you don't do the record. You don't sing the song. You don't act Shakespeare. You don't paint the painting to sell it or to be Michelangelo. You do it because you have the ability to do it.

And you have to believe you do it. And if you don't believe you do it, do what I was doing. Make believe you this guy that raps. And that's all I was doing. But in the fantasy of make believe and pretending, it's actually rehearsal. See, I was doing this in my basement for four years. So that would run put me in the group.

I had four years of practice. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Yeah. 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: Don't ask the universe to allow you to do it. [00:09:00] Just for you having the desire to do it is the magic. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Yeah. Well, it's the same. The saying goes, you fake it till you make it, right? I mean, you have that superpower. You know, I think it's really cool because we'll talk about literally superpowers in comic books, but 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: Yep.

Yep. Exactly. You 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: just, you believed it and you have this power. It's something that you wanted to do because I really think that that is important. You can have something for years, but you always wanted it in your heart. And then I 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: didn't think that I wanted it bad enough to get up in front of people to do it.

But the fact that I wanted to do, I wanted to be the king of rock. I actually became the king of rock. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Look how it turned out. Not too shabby. So you have this illustrious career and it wasn't just everything rose colored glasses. You, you really hit the It's rock bottom there with alcohol, depression. Can you talk about that, Darryl, when your life took that turn and how you were able to kind of pull things back together and come out of that dark hole?[00:10:00] 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: Yeah. Everybody. Like I'm not special, you know, everybody from the entertainer to the teacher to the doctor To the man down the block that owns the pizza shop to the little kid to the grandmother to the ceo Everybody goes through something And I went through what I had to go through, you know, and people always look at physical health as the main thing, but the physical health don't mean nothing if your mental health ain't right.

So basically I went through the mental health struggle, those issues, you know, I was a alcoholic, suicidal, metaphysical, spiritual wreck, who was about to jump off the bridge. But fortunately I discovered this thing called therapy. 

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Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: And therapy was the most gangster thing. People say they love when I say that was the most gangster thing.

And what I mean by that, it was the most powerful thing that I could ever [00:12:00] do because it allowed me to go get help. Once you admit you need help, that's the energy, that's the injection of been drilling in. And that is the power that allows you to beat and defeat whatever it is that you're struggling against.

So, I mean, when you look at, you know, you know, let's, let's look at entertainment or pop culture. You know, you see what these football players that are going through, they commit suicide. When you, you know, you could relate it to, uh, Kurt Corbain could relate it to, um, Chris Cornell, Chester from Lincoln Park.

I was there, you know what I'm saying? But then you also could talk about, you know, all the, um, college students that struggle with these mental issues. You know what I'm saying? That, um, self medicate, over medicate. Do things to stay up late, take things, substances. They, you start doing this harmful behavior.

You think about the multitude of these college students that kill themselves because of the pressure. So when that pressure comes, [00:13:00] do not think it's a weakness. Do not think it's not a cool thing to do to say, I need help to say I'm vulnerable to say I'm depressed to say I'm alcoholic. Admit that you're weak.

Admit that you're going to some and go get help. Don't be ashamed to go get help. So fortunately for me, when I went to rehab to stop drinking, it was in rehab where I discovered this thing called therapy. And therapy is good for the black guy, the black man. It's good for the lady. It's good for the kids.

It's good for the youth. It's good for the teenagers. So anybody that's struggling with anything, you know, sometimes you don't need another drug to get you out of the struggle with the drug. Sometimes you don't need another drink. Sometimes you don't need another smoke. Sometimes all you need to do is go sit down, talk about how you feel.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: That is such a good point, Darryl, because unfortunately the storyline has come up [00:14:00] with, with a lot of soldiers, with, with, PTSD. Oh, yes. Exactly. And, you know, the stigma is that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Yes. When you and I both know that asking for help is a sign of power. Exactly. Yes. Knowing that you have, you don't have all the answers.

You have an issue. You have a problem. That's a powerful thing to do. So powerful. And I love it. And we need 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: to say that. You're 100 percent right. That's why the stigma exists. You need to change that dialogue and that perception of it. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: You did write a book about that and I want you to mention that if people want to.

Yeah, so 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: yeah, I did the whole book about, you know, and the funny joke is, you know, The whole book came about because everywhere I would go, people would say, why you ain't on run's house while I was in rehab and therapy and going through my depression run was on TV. So, you know, people say, why didn't he?

So they thought me and run had a problem. No, while run was on TV doing his run house thing with his family, this is what I was going through. So I got tired of [00:15:00] everywhere. I went to London, I went to Russia, I went to Spain.

So I said, okay, let me write a book so I can tell people why I wasn't over in house. And I called the book 10 ways not to commit suicide. And it deals with everything that I've gone through. Um, and hopefully people can read my situation. There's a hundred million different situations, a hundred million.

But everybody's story is similar. So maybe there's something in my book that you could relate to because it wasn't until I started talking that other people would come out the closet and say, me too. Yeah, I was depressed. I was, I was anorexic. I was smoking too. I was drinking too much. So just by having a dialogue, The dialogue is the same, the thing that saves lives.

So, not being ashamed to talk about it, I'm the greatest rapper in the world. And here's one of my greatest rhymes. If you remove the guilt and shame, you remove the [00:16:00] pain, then you can deal with it. Don't be ashamed to say you're going through something. Don't be ashamed to say, to say I'm an alcoholic.

Don't be ashamed to say I'm in a, once you say that, then the only thing is to deal with who, what, where, or why you're going through your problem. We seem to make the problem the problem, and the stigma exists because we don't address the problem. So it's not what people struggle with that's wrong, since this universe has been in existence, it's how so called normal people react to that individual.

Oh, he's weird. Oh, she's bugging out. Oh, she's psycho. No, she feels a certain way. Let's deal with those feelings. It's like, there's nothing wrong with a person saying, I feel like killing myself and people that wouldn't be. That's how they feel. Let's find out why. Let's sit down and understand what this person is feeling.

And people say, but how can you say that? Just like this, if [00:17:00] you're feeling high and it's a hundred degrees outside, I can't tell you. Don't feel hot. If you're feeling hot, I'll put you in some AC. I'll give you a fan. I'll give you a cool drink. Vice versa. If you're cold, I feel cold today. If you're cold and it's really cold, I can't say don't feel cold.

I'll give you a heater. I'll take you inside. I'll send you to Florida or something. If you're hungry, I can't say, man, I haven't eaten in two days. I can't say don't be hungry because we'll give you some food. So if a person says, I feel like killing myself, sit that person down and say, why? What's happening?

This and that. Get to the thing that's making them feel like that. Then you can save the lives. So let's deal with the person's feelings and don't label them because of their issue. They're not psychos. And you know this too, 99. 9 percent of people on the face of the earth are fronting. You ask a person, are you okay?

They go, no, I'm [00:18:00] fine. When there's so many issues, they're ashamed to tell you about, like your best friend, your sister, people hide.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: And I think a testament to you with your courage to put that out there, because as you said, all of us have a time in our life where we've put up a facade. You know, I don't care if it's our boyfriend didn't call us last night. We got it in school. We all have those days. How are you? I'm good. I'm good. I'm good.

No, you're not. No, you're not. Not all the time. And putting that out there and somebody like you. Putting that out there because you know, so many would look at you and say, Oh my goodness. I mean, he's got money. He's got everything. He's got the fame and to hear that, Oh, well you struggle too. I think it, it obviously would open up so many people to be able to say, it's okay to say that.

It's okay. That's 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: the thing that saves lives. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Yeah, that's awesome. Okay. [00:19:00] So not only did you put out a book that is helping so many people and you continue to share your story, hopefully saving lives, but you also have something that you did not find out about until you were farther along, not a little child, and you learned a secret about your background.

Tell me about that. Tell me about that secret that you learned. 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: Um, I was 35 years old when I found out that I was adopted. Mind blowing. So you can imagine what emotions and feelings and questions I went through. And when I found out, it's funny how things work. I thought I'm the only person on the face of the earth that feels like this.

You know, I'm 35 years old. I feel like the little orphan kid. I feel like the little foster kid. All the questions, why? What does that mean? How come this is, like, it was the most confusing time in my walk this way, Adida Wearing, King of Rock life. At 35 years [00:20:00] old. It was a life changing revelation and discovery.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: I can only think that you learn something, as you said, at 35 years old, and there are just so many questions. It's obviously more questions than there are answers. So you start the search to find out where you came from, where the root for it. That led to something really beautiful called the Felix Organization.

Take me through that journey of the answers that you sought closure for, and then how we came to have the Felix organization. The 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: Felix organization. Okay. The quick story is this, I find out that I'm adopted at 35. I'm got all these emotions. I'm going through all of this stuff. Once people found out, oh, Just found out that he was adopted at 35.

Um, I had went to Los Angeles and, um, my manager and Tracy Miller, who I've known for over 40 years, she's been with me since the Red DMC years, they was trying to keep me [00:21:00] busy. So I go to LA and, um, I'm, I'm, I'm doing a meeting for casting with this agent and the agents talking to Eric, my manager, and then when it was time for the agent to address me, you know, personally, it was like DMC, you know, I see run, I see Russell, I see Kamara, I see the kids, where you been?

And then something in me just exploded. Well, I just found out that I was adopted at age 35 and everybody knew it. My mother and father kept it a secret and all my kind of, like, I just went through the whole emotions. Like, I was like, Whoa, like what? 35. But the good thing, the fortunate thing was a week earlier, this lady named Sheila Jaffe, who is a casting director in Hollywood that he works with, was just in his office doing the big Hollywood stuff that she does.

I mean, she's big Willie. She cast sopranos. Entourage John Travolta, Mark Warburg, enough said. So she was in his office after they did their business. He noticed she was kind of [00:22:00] down and she asked her what happened. So she knew she was adopted since she was 14. But most recently she started doing search for her birth mother.

So she did these three searches and just hit dead ends. So she was down for that. So he saw the way I just reacted and You know, the stars was lined up. He said, um, I can't imagine what you're going through. But a week earlier, there was this lady named Sheila in my office dealing with her adoption issues.

I think y'all should meet. So lo and behold, a couple of weeks later, I met up with Sheila. And what was good about that when I saw Sheila, It made me realize I'm not the only person in the face of the earth that's going through this issue. It was like, I'm not alone. There's another person who's going through something like me.

And that was a beautiful thing. And I think kids need that, but adults need it too. It has nothing to do with age, gender, or generational. You know, backgrounds. So after we did that, she says, Man, we were fortunate. You know, she's the [00:23:00] casting director on the King of Rock and Dita wearing it's tricky. God, she said we were fortunate.

What about those kids that might not get adopted? We need to do something about them. So we came up with the idea to build these Felix facilities in every state in America to give kids, not waiting till they age out the system at 18 and 21, but start giving them life skills and direction and recreation and education at a young age so they could develop into people that they were put here to be.

Which was a big idea, but it was really, really too big. So, our friends convinced us with a little reluctance from us. We said, we need to do the facilities. They convinced us to start with a sleepaway camp. Up here in New York City, up in Putnam County. Start with a sleepaway camp where the foster kids can come to camp for a week.

Have recreation, see nature, but at the same time, we can find out who are you, what do you want to be, you're not alone. So [00:24:00] 15 years ago, we started the Felix organization, which gives opportunities for kids in the foster care system facing obstacles so that they have the opportunity to be the people that they were put there to be the next great journalists, entertainers, casting directors, doctors, lawyers, scientists, chefs, you name it, photographers, you name it, you name it.

These kids deserve the opportunity to become who they were, those boys and girls were prepared to be. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: I'm a big believer that things don't happen per chance, so obviously connecting with Sheila, but more importantly, I have to ask you this, looking back at your life and seeing the highs and the lows and the surprises being adopted, do you feel like there has been a purpose in all of that to lead you where you are when it comes to being able to reach out to others?

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: Yeah, a hundred percent. Prior to me finding out that I was adopted, I thought I was just put here to [00:25:00] be the mighty king of rock. There is none higher. Sucker MC, you should call me sire. To burn my kingdom, you must choose fire. And I won't stop rockin till I retire. That's what I thought. Okay, you know what?

I had a great life. Growing up in Queens, I had the best mother and father, the best brother. Went to every school I went to was a Catholic school, had comic books, I had Christmastime in Hollis, Queens, you know. So everything was, was perfect. But after that shocking revelation, I realized that the king of rock, Adida Warren, God is telling the world to walk this way.

I was put here for a bigger reason than just to be DMC. That was the setup for what I should be doing now. So it started to make sense in that way. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: And clearly it seems everything that you have been through has really helped to shape the person that you have become Oh, for sure. personally and professionally.

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: Oh, for sure. The comic books had a lot to do with it. [00:26:00] Good education had a lot to do it. All those Christmases had a lot to do. My love of Adidas had a lot to do with it. And even me being a foster kid, adopted kid had a lot to do with it. Yeah, it's part of your story and the beauty about that. That's why you're removed to give in a shame about your story.

If you're fortunate enough to go through something and still be able to tell somebody about it, that's what I tell a lot of, a lot of people who are going through depression. "D", my life is worthless, or my girlfriend don't love me, I'm not down with the, you know, the cool people, you know, my family doesn't like me, and this and that.

If you're surviving and able to say that, The reason why you are on this earth is so you can touch and save somebody's life. And I've changed a lot of people's perspective. I was like, look, you think you have a problem because your family's a jerk. They have a problem. They have a jerk problem that has the, their situation doesn't define you.

And they start really, [00:27:00] Oh, I'm saying, you're going, you're getting in all of these emotions, and you have a right to have your emotions. That's another thing. You have a right to feel how you feel. You know, alienated, scared, confused, whatever, left out, because feelings were given to you for that. But I said, they don't define you.

They're treating you like you have a problem because they have a problem. Oh, I never thought about it. I said, I guarantee you, if you walk out here in the middle of the street and yell everything that you're going through, 50 people on that block will say, me too. Now you got a new family. So, you know, it was given to me to wrap comic books.

The reason why he was a good student. Your love of Adidas. And even the adoption force, I can't think, had a purpose to it. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Comic books. You really are reigning supreme in the comic book world now. So, talk to me about that. What's new and exciting on the comic book front right now? 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: Yeah, uh, Stan Lee inspired me when I was a little kid.

Like I said earlier, he, He put the superheroes really in New York City. So every time [00:28:00] I opened up a Marvel comic book, I got a geographical lesson about the city that I lived in, but I couldn't leave the block and exposed me to Queens is exposed me to Harlem and the lower East. city and all of that. So that being said, comic books was a huge inspiration for me having a confidence to go perform the way that I did on stage.

I was just imagining myself as the most powerful entity in the hip hop universe. So long story short, I had such a love of comic books. I started my own comic book publishing company called Darryl makes comics cause I couldn't use Marvel and I couldn't use DC. That was take you. So the people that started with me was like, yo, if you start a comic book company, DMC, what would you call it?

And it just came to me. Oh, it's already there. DMC, Darryl makes comics cause that's what I'll be doing. But I wanted to do something that was going to be a celebration, a tribute of, of, of what makes comic books great to all of us. And if you know, comic [00:29:00] books teach us a lot about life. You know what I'm saying?

The X Men was dealing with bias and bigotry. Spider Man and Batman and he's got his fight drug dealers. And, you know, we deal with the combinations of the day in a language. In a scenario that makes it easy for people to understand. But, um, people used to always say, man, when I saw Randy, you'll see what the Jesus suits on and the leather suits and D with his glasses and his hat on and his gloves.

And he was like a superhero. And that literally came true. You know what I'm saying? I mean, everybody in the business from Eminem to try court quest. Uh, to kid rock to, to everybody in the business. Yo man, you run a J man. Y'all guys was like a superhero. So it's actually me doing what I was already doing without knowing that I was doing it.

So I said, okay, if somebody's going to say a superhero, why can't I become one? You know, when you see that scene in Spider [00:30:00] Man, it's like, you know, when they tell them, no, everybody's a superhero. And sometimes the world needs superheroes. So that you could see the superhero that's in you. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Talking about overcoming and especially during pandemic.

I don't know if this was a problem for you, but, uh, when everybody was locked in, I was hitting the pantry like super hard. And cookies were one of my weaknesses. So let's talk about some cookies. How the heck did you get involved with cookies? Tell me all about it. 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: Darryl makes cookies. Well, it's plain and simple as this.

Over my years in the music business and attending concerts, shows, attending, um, openings, attending meetings. There's always a craft table around. Or a snack table around. And when I was growing up, I loved cookies. Uh, uh, Chips Ahoy's was my favorite and, um, um, sugar cookies. But over the years, it's funny at these [00:31:00] events, everybody will eat the sugar, the double chocolate and the chocolate chips.

And there's always the oatmeal cookies segment. So I just got accustomed to eating oatmeal cookies cause they was always there. And I developed a liking for them. So Lossery Short, um, um, I started, you know, working with the kids. I'm doing the stuff that I'm doing with foster care, stuff like that. And I was sitting there about two years ago and I was like, oh, I'm making comic books right now and the whole DMC thing, I was like, I can make anything that starts with a d.

Darryl makes cookies, Darrell makes chocolate, Darryl makes comics. So I said, yo, you know what I'm, I'm, I said out loud, I'm gonna do some cookies. And everybody in the room stopped. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: That's awesome. 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: D. M. C. Darryl makes cookies. And hold up, and everybody in the room said, I would buy those. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Yeah, that's awesome. 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: And then I thought the reason why I was doing it, you touched on something before you asked the question.

During this pandemic, it's been crazy for, I'm talking about everybody all across the, the kids with the schooling can't connect with their [00:32:00] friends. Us with, you know, especially if you're in the business, your interaction is one on one with people in front of you. So everything is going thrown into chaos and haywire.

I said, man, if Darryl makes cookies, I can put smiles on people's faces just like I've been doing with my music all these years. So I wanted to do something. That was going to make people happy. What's cooler, what's cleaner, what's happier, what's more unifying than giving people cookies. It's just a cute, fun, real happy thing to do to cheer us all up.

So after seeing the enthusiasm about people, about the purpose of it, and it's so cool, Darryl makes cookies, it makes sense. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Cookies, they just make you smile. They do. Yeah, 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: and the crazy thing is people are really enthusiastic D, you gotta make sure you have the gluten free for the gluten free people. I'm like, okay, that's easy.

And for the people that go to the gyms, I have the Diablo Mixed Cookies protein [00:33:00] cookie. With the cookies, I can make everybody, no matter what their preference is, happy. I'll be able to reach everybody. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Well, you have made me so happy. You've made me so happy with this interview. So before I let you go, tell me about what's happening.

Projects that you're going to be involved in, in addition to all the other things. 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: Yeah, yeah, I'm dropping a vinyl EP called America. Uh, it's a vinyl four song EP, and it's just going to be about unifying positive music representing the vision of America that I know you have, and that I have, and that's Steven Tyler has, and all my peers and contemporaries across the boards from entertainers, musicians to the educators and teachers and families that I'm in contact with.

It's going to be a four song EP featuring the title song America, which is all me produced by some of the hip hop heads, you know, Bumpy Knuckles, a. k. a. Freddy Fox. That's the title track of the vinyl EP [00:34:00] America. But I also have a song on there that I'm doing, um, featuring Joan Jett. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Wow. 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: Which gets more American than that.

Oh my goodness. I got Joan Jett, and then, hold up, the next song is Sammy Aga, and then I have a tribute to Freddie Mercury. We did We Will Rock You Over featuring Billy Joe from Green Day and Rob Dukes from Exodus. So this is hip hop, punk, heavy metal, and down home, straight up American rock and hip hop coming together.

To give people something they can enjoy. And then I have another really quickly. I have another one off song. that we've been working on for 11 years. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Wow. 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: It just took 11 years because it took a minute to literally get everybody together. Not because of business pandemic, everybody was on a roll. So the record came together in pieces, but, um, we did the song, um, Black Betty by Ram jam.

Oh, black Betty, ma'am. Oh, black Betty. It's the one off single that I'm dropping featuring [00:35:00] DMC on the rap, Sebastian Bach from Skid Row on the singing, uh, Travis Barker on drums, Mick Mars from Motley Crue on guitar, and the one and only incomparable Duff McKagan from Guns N Roses on bass. So I'm putting out music that's going to make people smile, dance, and just have fun the same way they did with Walk This Way and with It's Tricky.

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Darryl, I love it. And I love, I love your heart. I love that. You have not seen all shiny sparkly things happen in your life and you use that for a purpose to be able to give back and to help people. by sharing your story, which I think is. And nobody, 

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: nobody has. We all should. People that come to me and share their stories with me is helping me, but I would have never received that help if I didn't admit something.

Inspiration is a two way street. 

Michelle Dawn Mooney: Thanks for listening. Really hope you enjoyed this conversation with Darryl DMC McDaniels. Of course, you can check out his website, thekingdmc. com for more information about his [00:36:00] music. comics, cookies, and even some wine that is benefiting the Felix organization. If you like this episode, I would love it if you give me a thumbs up and leave a review.

And if you want to hear more conversations like the one you heard today, please subscribe to the podcast. Thanks again for joining me. You can always visit my website, michelledawnmooney. com for more info on new podcast episodes, videos, and more. Until next time, remember one person can make a difference and that difference maker could be you.

We'll see you soon.