SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Darryl McDaniels is known throughout the hip-hop world as a pioneer. But it's comic pioneers that he credits for elevating his art form.
The founding member of Run DMC has grown up around comics, spending his childhood collecting, drawing, and envisioning himself in a super suit of his own. It's comics that he says taught him
As a little kid, all I did was read, draw, and collect comic books. So at that time, I was this nerdy, geeky, little kid that had all this cool stuff inside of me — that the world didn't think was cool — but no way to let it out," McDaniels says.
Comic books were McDaniels' outlet during a childhood where being teased and bullied was normalcy.
"My release from the traumatic existence of being teased, bullied, and picked on [were] comic books," he added.
Spider-Man, in particular, was someone McDaniels could see himself as.
"People always wonder, 'why does this guy continuously tell us he's from Queens?'" McDaniels says. "When I was a little kid, I'm reading Spider-Man and then I found out Peter Parker lives in Queens. Where did I live at? Queens. So you see the dynamic power, the affect that it had on me as an individual?"
But Parker's antics in the pages of Marvel Comics reached McDaniels further.
Another thing I saw in Peter Park that was similar with me, he was awkward. Even though he's the mighty Spider-Man he's trying to figure life out. Then I notice he's a great student, so it made me walk around the hood like, 'what? You sell drugs and I got an 'A.' What?'" McDaniels recalls. "So these guys gave me confidence."
That upbringing helped tailor some of McDaniels' lyrics.
"I learned something from comic books that I manifested in real life. Marvel Comics taught me to defined yourself with an adjective and tell the world who you are. So for me, I'm Darryl McDaniels," he said. "The initials of my name are 'DMC.' But comic books and Stan Lee taught me when I get on the microphone, I'm no longer mild-mannered school kid Darryl McDaniels ... DMC transforms into the " Devastating, Mic Controlling' DMC."
Now, not only does McDaniels' love of comics shine through his music, but literally in his own comic publisher: Darryl Makes Comics (DMC).
"So we're going to educate. We're going to talk about the issues, we're going to talk about politics, we're going to talk about homophobia, we're going to talk about drugs," McDaniels says. "The arts succeeds where politics and religion fails."