date published: July 16, 2007

5 questions with...

Darryl "Run DMC" McDanielsDarryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels
by Josh B. Wardrop

Darryl McDaniels earned his spot in music history as one-third of hip-hop pioneers Run-D.M.C., a group that helped rap cross over into the mainstream when they collaborated with Boston rockers Aerosmith in 1986. Today, D.M.C. continues to record and perform, and his travels recently found him in Boston at the opening of the new Hard Rock Café.

Q: You hooked up with some old friends in London recently, correct?
Yes, yes.…I closed the show with Aerosmith, my old friends. Steven (Tyler) called me to come do “Walk This Way,” and I got there and I’m nervous, because we haven’t rehearsed. I see him backstage, and I ask, “Steve, who’s doing what lyric?” And he says to me. “We’re just going to wing it,” and he keeps walking. But it was huge!

Q: This new Hard Rock is cool, but where’s the Run-D.M.C. stuff?
(Laughs) It’s coming. I got a hat, and some sneakers and glasses on the way.

Q: What do you think of today’s hip-hop?
The icons of hip-hop now are all criminals, pimps and drug dealers, and I take that personally. Because Run-D.M.C. and the groups we started with tried to use hip-hop to help people. The reason we’re able to be in the Hard Rock Cafe, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is because we made music that meant something.

Q: Who would you pay to see in concert today?
Not many rappers—maybe KRS-One, De La Soul and The Roots. I’d see the rockers—Springsteen, Aerosmith, The Stones—because they’d give you way more than they even put on records.

Q: Where do you hang out when you’re in Boston?
I love Faneuil Hall. And I go to Red Sox games—I’m not a Yankees fan, and I did a song with someone from this hood, so they like me there!