Darryl "DMC" McDaniels is best known for being one third of the legendary hip hop trio Run-DMC -- famous for marrying rap and rock on tracks like “Walk This Way” and “It’s Tricky.” But these days, DMC is also marrying his passion for rap with his longstanding love of comic books. His new comic book imprint is called Darryl Makes Comics, and it launches with a graphic novel in January that features DMC himself as an Adidas-sporting hip hop superhero.
DMC talks about basing his early rap lyrics on Marvel comics; his struggles with dysphonia (a condition that affects the vocal cords); his take on modern-day rap; and how he found out that he was adopted at the age of 35.
On his early love of comic books:
For me growing up it was school and comic books. Me and my brother, we collected a lot of the Marvel series. Even as a young kid watching TV, it was Batman and Superman.... I definitely was one of those kids that would put my blanket on my neck with a safety pin. Comic books empowered me, comic books gave me confidence and comic books was a world where I could get away from all the trouble of being a young kid trying to survive in this universe.
On dealing with dysphonia, a medical condition that affects his vocal cords:
It's kind of like a superhero thing for me. I have a physical weakness but I have this other super ability.... Think about it. Superheroes always have two identities. They have glasses.
On the commercial hip hop being made today:
99% of it is totally what we created hip hop to get rid of. The negativity that exists in our communities -- gang banging, drug dealing, violence, disrespecting women -- we created this form of communication so that we can empower and educate ourselves. A lot of the hip hop right now is empowering negativity.