Run-D.M.C.

1981-2002
Joseph "Run" Simmons
Darryl "DMC" McDaniels
Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizzel
  • Songs
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Run-D.M.C. has a lot of firsts: they were the first rap group to grace the cover of Rolling Stone, the first rap act with gold, platinum and multiplatinum albums, the first rap act to appear on MTV, and the first rap act to sign a major endorsement deal (with Adidas).
  • Run-D.M.C. appeared as themselves in the 1985 movie, Krush Groove. The movie is a semi-biographical account of Joseph "Run" Simmons' brother, Russell and the early days of Def Jam Records. Also appearing in the film were Kurtis Blow, The Fat Boys, Shelia E and The Beastie Boys.
  • About the group's style, Joseph "Run" Simmons says, "There were guys that wore hats like those and sneakers with no shoestrings. It was a very street thing to wear, extremely rough. They couldn't wear shoelaces in jail and we took it as a fashion statement. The reason they couldn't have shoelaces in jail was because they might hang themselves. That's why DMC says My Adidas only bring good news and they are not used as felon shoes."
  • For a while, they wanted to call themselves The Dynamic Two or Treacherous Two. There are various claims about the meaning of the "DMC" in Run DMC. It is widely accepted to refer to Darryl "DMC" McDaniels last name, but there are other references, as well. DMC makes other references to what it stands for, including, "Devastating Mic Control" and "D for never dirty, MC for mostly clean." There is also a third reference that DMC makes: "The 'D's for Doing it all of the time, the 'M's for the rhymes that all are Mine, The 'C's for Cool - cool as can be."
  • As a child, Jam Master Jay played trumpet, bass, guitar and drums in several different bands, but gave them all up when, at the age of 13, discovered turntables. Soon after, he began DJ'ing.
  • Joseph "Run" Simmons turned to television after the group called it quits. He and his family were the subject of an MTV reality show called Run's House that aired 2005-2009.
  • Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizzel had a big influence on an up and coming rapper that would soon be a mega star. Jay worked with a young 50 Cent, teaching him how to count bars, construct songs and produce albums. Mizzel founded the label Jam Master Jay Records and also established the Scratch DJ Academy in Manhattan, New York. Jay was murdered on October 30, 2002 in his studio.
  • In the late '90s and early '00s, DMC battled drug addiction, alcoholism and depression. "I was just a metaphysical, alcoholic, suicidal, spiritual wreck," he told Q radio. "It was just this funny feeling in me, this void in me. Depression is funny because you get to the point where you just don't want to live with it no more. I wanted to commit suicide because of this depressive feelings, but the reason why is really stupid."

    In 2000, he learned he was adopted, which led to his song "Just Like Me," and later, a memoir called Ten Ways Not To Commit Suicide.
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