Darryl McDaniels Net Worth
Darryl McDaniels is worth $45 million, due mostly to his musical and rap ability. He is a self-taught disc jockey and rapper who worked his way through the ranks to become a hit with the hip-hop crowd. He’s known as “D.M.C.,” and his original stage name was “Grandmaster Get High.”
Raised in Queens, New York, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels grew up in the same neighborhood as his future Run-D.M.C. mates, Joseph “Run” Simmons and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell. The trio revolutionized rap and propelled it into mainstream culture. As a solo artist, McDaniels has continued to tour and make music. In 2014 he launched his own comic books line, Darryl Makes Comics.
Devastating Mic Controller
Darryl “DMC” Matthews McDaniels was born May 31, 1964, in New York City, New York. The youngest of two boys, McDaniels grew up in the middle-class Queens neighborhood of Hollis, home also to future Run-D.M.C. mates Joseph “Run” Simmons and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell.
As a young boy, McDaniels drew his early creative inspiration from the comic books his older brother, Alford, brought home. “I started drawing with stick figures,” McDaniels recalled. “My brother was a pop culture dude that would discover stuff for us. So he would start bringing home comic books. I was reading the comic books to the best of my ability. But it was just pictures then. So I would draw stick figures.”
In his early teens, McDaniels’s artistic passions revolved around music, especially the early sounds of hip-hop from pioneers like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. In the basement of his home, McDaniels taught himself to deejay using a mixer and a pair of turntables. His love of rap was matched by Simmons, another aspiring deejay, and the two eventually decided to form a duo. Needing someone to scratch a few records for them, they turned to their friend Mizell, whom they considered a superior deejay. When they liked what they heard, the two asked Mizell to join them and the trio Run-D.M.C. was born.
Rap Goes Mainstream
In 1983, Run-D.M.C. signed with Profile Records and collected a $2,500 advance. The group hit modest pay dirt with its first single, “It’s Like That/Sucker MCs.” The song peaked at No. 15 on the R&B charts and helped pave the way for the band’s self-titled debut album in 1984.
Branded by the group’s sportswear attire and hard-nosed street language, the record solidified Run-D.M.C.’s reputation as the leaders of the new generation of hip-hop music. Standing at the center of it was McDaniels, who dubbed himself the King of Rock, bringing a thundering, forceful sound to Run-D.M.C.’s records.
The group’s 1985 album, King of Rock, continued Run-D.M.C.’s momentum. But it was 1986’s platinum-selling Raising Hell that proved to be a signature record both for the band and hip-hop in general. Produced by Rick Rubin, Raising Hell featured the highly touted single, “Walk This Way,” a rap version of Aerosmith’s 1975 smash hit of the same name. The track was a whole new kind of force to hit the airwaves, blending Run-D.M.C.’s hard-edged rap style with Steven Tyler’s powerful vocals and Joe Perry’s driving guitar riffs.
The song soared up the charts, pushing hip-hop into the mainstream and making Run-D.M.C. music superstars. Across America, the trio became a household name.
During the group’s short but important heyday it racked up many firsts for a rap group: The first to have its music video played on MTV; the first appear on the cover of Rolling Stone; and the first to perform on Saturday Night Live.
Run-D.M.C. broke up temporarily in the late 1980s, but reconfigured in 1993 to release a new album, Down with the King, before taking another hiatus. In 2000 Run-D.M.C. got back together to release Crown Royal. The tour that followed included appearances with Aerosmith.
But in 2002, tragedy befell the group when Jam Master Jay was shot and killed in his studio in Queens, New York. In the years since Mizell’s death, however, Run-D.M.C.’s legacy and impact on hip-hop music has only grown. In 2009, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, just the second rap group to earn the honor. In 2016, Run-D.M.C. received rap’s first Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Depression and Rebirth
Along with the accolades and fame, however, McDaniels struggled to find happiness. By the late 1990s, his life had spiraled out of control. He turned to liquor, which only ratcheted up his depression. “Fame fortune and being DMC was just fulfilling no more so, in my mind I was ‘OK, I gotta check out of here,’” he later said. “So, I was like, I gotta figure out how to commit suicide.”
A turning point, McDaniels says, came when the song “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan played out from his car radio. He says the song awakened him to what he had, propelling him on a path to learn about his family history. When he subsequently pressed his parents about his lineage, McDaniels made a startling discovery—he was adopted.
Darryl McDaniels Bio Info
Full name: Darryl Matthews McDaniels
Born: 31 May 1964 (age 53 years), Harlem, New York City, New York, United States
Height: 1.85 m
Spouse: Zuri L. McDaniels (m. 1992)
Children: Darryl M. McDaniels, Jr
Music group: Run-D.M.C. (1981 – 2002)
Education: Rice High School, St. John’s University
Darryl McDaniels Quotes
- Every day as a kid, I had a four-course dinner, and I never had the same thing twice a week. I was never curious to cook for myself because my Mrs. McDaniels put it down. My wife hates that I don’t eat at home. My mom passed away and now I won’t have homemade food again until I go to heaven and meet up with her again. – Darryl McDaniels
- Sylvester Stallone said, ‘You can have all the dessert you want, as long as you eat it early in the day.’ So I took Sylvester’s advice and had red-velvet cake for dessert, and that’s how I have my cake and eat it too. – Darryl McDaniels
- The doctor asked me, ‘How many cans of beer do you drink a day?’ And I was like, ‘A day? A case of 40-ounce Old English malt liquor.’ I was in the hospital for a month and a half. When I got out of the hospital, I went cold turkey and started working out and now it’s kind of bad, because I’ve replaced the alcohol with the working out. – Darryl McDaniels
Darryl McDaniels Videos on YouTube
D.M.C. legend Darryl McDaniels (DMC) sits down with Graham Hartmann (@grahamwire) to prove and disprove what’s written about him on Wikipedia.
Darryl D.M.C. McDaniels, of the famed hip hop ground Run D.M.C., answers the Daily News’ Five Questions.