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DMC (Run DMC) - conducted by DJ Ty  

My chat with the King of Rock

January 2007

Everyone who knows me knows what a big RunDMC fan I was, I am and always will be. That's why it was such an honor when I opened my email from publicist, Cynthia Horner asking me if I wanted to interview DMC that forthcoming Monday. DMC was always my favorite member because he didn't talk as much as Run, giving him some element of mystery, street credibility and danger. I started to write down the questions that I always wanted to know but realized that this was not going to be an interview but a conversation. Interviews are usually cold and impersonal. Conversations are warm and personal. So, I scrapped my questionnaire. Monday, February 13, 2006. There I was at the famous Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, NY, an hour ahead of my 11:30am scheduled time setting up my camera and charging its battery which I failed to do the previous day.

DMC is the main attraction but not the subject at hand. This press conference was being produced by DKMS (the largest private bone marrow donor foundation in the world), Harley Davidson with DMC as the organization's ambassador to raise funds to fight Leukemia, the deadly blood disease that claimed Nelly's sister, Jackie Donahue, the previous year.

The press conference took all of 30 minutes then everyone stopped to take photos and answer questions for the press, "Here's my chance". I've met quite a few celebs, and to be honest, they're not that impressive in person, especially, if they're on an ego trip. With D, I didn't know what to expect. With the days of Run DMC's reign being long behind him but still being a living legend, would he be down to earth or bitter? Being a Leo (a lion for those who flunked astrology 101), I observe both my territory and target before making a move. DMC was extremely approachable and open to posing for pictures, so I approached D. And it went a lil' something like this-

MVRemix: On your very first record, you rapped, "Since kindergarten I thrived for knowledge. Then after 12th grade I went straight to college". You guys were so pro-education and played such a significant part in my boyhood. Your songs were about keeping the Black youth off of the streets. How do you feel about some of these artists, nowadays, that go against everything that you guys stood for?

DMC: What it is, is the kids are seeing results right now. Money is power. Chuck D told me this 10 years ago but I couldn't understand that back then because I was too busy running around drinking 40 ounces. Chuck told me that the biggest thing hip-hop has is it's power of communication. We got mics, cameras, radio, movies, ring tones for cell phones, Cd's etc. Hip-hop is a billion dollar industry. We dictate what goes on in the world. We tell people what car to drive, what to wear, how to talk and what to drink. The only thing missing right now is the artists with the power are not being role models. I know we all are not perfect but we have a responsibility. We know what all the rappers are doing but they're not sayin' nuthin'. This bugs me out. Back in the day, I said, "I'm DMC in the place to be. I got to St. John's University". The kids hustlin' on the corner use to come up to me and be like, "Yo, D. Do you really go to college?". And I'd be like, "Not only am I in college but I'm a straight A student". But the way I was doin' it, they could relate to it. It made the hustlers say, "Damn that's cool".

These artists today don't wanna compromise their image. They think that being positive is soft. They don't realize that being positive is the most gangsta, hard rock thing you could do. One thing about RunDMC is we weren't saints. We use to drink and smoke weed. Everything, sex drugs and Rock-n-Roll. But one thing we never did was put it in our records, image or visuals. Nowadays you have censorship but rappers need to censor themselves. We are not the cause of violence but constantly repeating the gangster lifestyle you're living or lived over and over again, you're not making it better in the hood. Now, think about Eric B. and Rakim. They were the first artists on the album cover with the Rolex, the Benz, the jewelry and the wad of cash but they never put that shit on their records. Everything out of Rakim's mouth was positive.

MVRemix: Where did your title, "King of Rock", come from?

DMC: People would say to us that we did rock music to get the white crowd or to crossover but Rap is the cousin of Rock-n-Roll. It's informative, it's rebellious and it's youth driven. And me, myself, I couldn't rap or listen to a disco beat. Disco was too sing-songy while Rock-n-Roll, the hard drums and loud guitars was who we were and are. We had to rap over boom-boom-bap-boom-boom, boom-boom-bap-boom-boom. It fit where we were trying to go and where we were coming from.

Check out DMC's album "Checks thugs and Rock-n-Roll" or visit

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