Interviews, Podcast

Run-DMC’s Darryl McDaniels Discusses The Origins Of Icons

DMC recalls hip hop's early days on the Culture Creature podcast

Run-DMC (L to R): Jam Master Jay, DMC, Run

On today’s episode of the Culture Creature podcast, you’ll hear unforgettable stories of hip hop’s early days from Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels – and you’ll even hear DMC bust a few rhymes. Listen to the complete Run-DMC interview via the player above or in your podcast provider of choice.

Darryl McDaniels is a true hip hop innovator and originator, and he’s been busy lately. He recently released a new vinyl EP titled Back From the Dead: The Legend Lives. The EP features Chuck D (Public Enemy), John Moyer (Disturbed), Rome (Sublime with Rome), and Myles Kennedy (AlterBridge, Slash), and others. The EP includes the song ‘Coming Like A Rhino’ (featuring Chuck D).

run dmc interview

Photo courtesy of Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels

Darryl is also the owner of the comic books brand Darryl Makes Comics, and he has published two nonfiction books about his life. Learn more about Darryl McDaniels at

Run-DMC Interview Highlights

DMC discusses lots of Run-DMC history during today’s episode of the Culture Creature podcast.

Darryl McDaniels describes the moment when Jam Master Jay pioneered Run-DMC’s iconic wardrobe: “We pulled up to Jay’s front steps, in front of his house. He comes out of the house, he’s got the four-speaker JVC boombox, he had on black Lee jeans, he had on white Adidas with the black stripes – but there’s no laces in ’em. He had on a black sweatshirt, and a black Adidas jacket with the white stripes, and he had on the ‘Godfather’ hat. … Russell [Simmons] had been telling us, ‘You need stage outfits.’ Our thing was, ‘We know we do.’ But we would always point at [Grandmaster] Flash and Afrika Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation: ‘But we ain’t wearin’ that shit!’ The first rappers had no rappers to look up to because they were the first. So when the first rappers such as Bambaataa, Zulu Nation and Flash got into show business, they looked at their idols in show business: The Rolling Stones, Parliament Funkadelic, and Rick James. That’s why they dressed like that. … So when Jay stepped out on that porch dressed from head to toe in what now is the Run-DMC attire, me and Run said, ‘That’s our look.'”

Darryl McDaniels on the creative melting pot of downtown New York City in the 1980s: “In New York at that time, if you came downtown to the NYU area to clubs like Danceteria and The World, you would see Afrika Bambaataa, you would see Fab Five Freddy, Run-DMC, The Ramones, Madonna, Basquiat, Keith Haring. It was the music, it was the literature, it was the journalists. All of the arts were in that area. … That’s where all of that energy emerged. It was easy for hip hoppers, because we were familiar with all of these artists because we were [sampling] their music. So to meet Lou Reed – who we had just rapped over his beat the other night – those were incredible empowering moments.”

Listen to the complete Run-DMC interview on the Culture Creature podcast: Apple Podcasts | Android | Stitcher | RSS

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