The Inspiring Personal Story Of The Devastating Mic Controller: D.M.C.

McDaniels at the 2014 New York Comic Con (wikipedia)

McDaniels at the 2014 New York Comic Con (wikipedia)

Darryl McDaniels also known as DMC (from Run-DMC) grew up in New York City. He was born to an unwed mother who surrendered him to the New York Foundling home. He was a ward of the Foundling until he was placed with the McDaniels who eventually adopted him although he wasn't told about being adopted until he was well into his adult years. He attended a private Roman Catholic high school and after completing that college preparatory school he would enroll at another Catholic school, St. John's University which is research university in Queens, NY. 

DMC first became interested in hip-hop music from listening to mixtapes of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five who inspired him to teach himself how to DJ in his parent's basement using a turntable setup given to him by his older brother. During this period he adopted the stage name "Grandmaster Get High".

Darryl would soon hook up with Joseph "Run" Simmons and Jam-Master Jay and give up DJ'ing and instead become a rapper. He changed his name to D.M.C. which stood for "Devastating Mic Control" and the rest is history as they say. They would tour the globe, release hit records and sign a groundbreaking endorsement deal with Adidas worth $1 million dollars. 

All the success came with a toll on DMC and he began drinking heavily fairly early in their career around the tour for 1986's Raising Hell and by 1997 he had developed a deep depression from being on tour while missing his wife and newborn son. Then things got even worse when he noticed that his voice was starting to give out during concerts, he was later diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, a vocal disorder which causes involuntary spasms of the larynx muscles. 

His weakened voice then became the source of disagreements with his group and he would become only a very minor contributor to their 2001 album Crown Royal. It was during this time that he heard a song by Sarah McLachlan on the radio titled "Angel" which he credits with saving his life as it made him reassess his life and career. With his new outlook on life, he decided to write his autobiography, this is when he learned the shocking truth that he was an adoptee. He would team up with VH1 to create a documentary titled DMC: My Adoption Journey, chronicling his quest to find his biological mother.

Finding out about his own past led him to found a summer camp which provides 170 foster children with resources and experiences they otherwise would not have had access to. In 2006 he was awarded the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award for his work with children in foster care and promotion of adoption. He sits on the Board of Directors of Children’s Rights, a national watchdog organization that reforms failing child welfare systems.

In 2001 he would release his autobiography, King of Rock: Respect, Responsibility, and My Life with Run-DMC and more recently he released his critically acclaimed second book Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide: A Memoir (2017).

Alexander Ramalho