This video is slightly confusing. I can’t help but sing along to RUN DMC’s “It’s Tricky,” but the only thing that I find tricky, is how in the world did this girl fit in a pair of pants? Wait, I’d like to know what made even think of the idea in the first place. The video’s description on YouTube says: “I found this video on Tumblr and decided to post it on here. Not me.” I guess this video proves a point. Whenever you put on the internet, don’t forgot that it may catch up with you in the long run.
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Diggy Simmons, a rapper from New York.
This 17-year old up and comer has hip-hop in his genes. He’s the fourth child of Joseph Ward Simmons, better known as Rev. Run, a founding member of the influential hip-hop group Run-D.M.C. Maybe you’ve heard of it?
The celebrity DNA doesn’t stop there, as Diggy’s uncle is Russell Simmons, the co-founder of Def Jam Records. With a family tree like that, its no wonder Diggy’s on his way to becoming hip-hop royalty.
Origins: Queens, New York.
Real name: Daniel Dwayne Simmons III, but he is better known by his stage name Diggy Simmons.
Known for: The teen heartthrob is known for his mad freestyling skills and lyrics that make the ladies swoon.
Used in a sentence: “Diggy Simmons has swag and will make his hip hop family proud.”
File next to: Jerimih
Download now: Although his arrival may have been unexpected, his success isn’t. Listen to “Do It Like You” now.
Watch it here:
Metallica and Run DMC are two super groups that will come together whit old band mates and take the stage to accept the honor of being inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
While past ceremonies have depicted tension between old band members, as per the behind the scenes grudges between members of Blondie and Van Halen, Metallica and Run DMC are two groups that plan on treating the event as a joyful milestone, rather than a mix of bad blood.
Eminem, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and guitar legend Jimmy Page are among the celebrity presenters who will pay tribute to honourees at this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The ceremony, which will be held April 4 at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, honours inductees who were chosen by the 600 voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. Artists are eligible 25 years after the release of their first recording.
Rap pioneers Run-DMC will be inducted by Eminem, who is returning from a long hiatus with the release of two albums later this year.
“What’s happening, Adam? This is D.M.C. in the pzace to bzee,” is how I am greeted when I answer the phone to speak with Darryl McDaniels, better known as D.M.C. of the pioneer hip-hop collective Run-DMC.
His very first words are nostalgic. D.M.C. included the words “place to be” on several tracks over the years, and for the next 30 minutes, apparently where I am in Toronto and where D.M.C. is in New Jersey are the places to be.
But the D.M.C. on the line is far from the same guy who helped introduce hip-hop to a broader audience in 1986 with “Walk this Way,” the group’s revolutionary collaboration with Aerosmith. As part of Run-DMC, he was a part of first rap group to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone, to receive a Grammy nomination and to appear on Saturday Night Live. He helped make hip-hop into a mainstream genre, but that’s now behind him.
The D.M.C. who is on the line is vulnerable. Darryl McDaniels is open, not afraid to experience backlash for his critical views on the genre he helped establish, and ready to move forward from his days with the rap trio.
This is a man who considered killing himself when he lost focus of reality. He’s a man who exited rehab two years ago after a five-year battle with alcoholism. He’s a man who was happy to leave Run-DMC behind even before the untimely passing of the group’s Jam Master Jay.
And he’s not ignoring any of that pain on his first solo album, “Checks, Thugs and Rock ‘N Roll,” released last week.
“You have to make a record that?s going to talk about what people go through,” he says.
True to what he preaches, DMC included tracks about being an alcoholic, about finding out so late in his life that he’s adopted, and about the War in Iraq.
“What happened to all these so-called great artists of this generation? When you think about the ’60s: Dylan, Lennon, Fogerty, whatever rock n’ roll god was at the time, whether people agreed with them or not, they wrote about the Vietnam War because it was about life, it was about the community, it was about the universe.
“I’m making songs about something as opposed to just rhyming. ‘I’m D.M.C., check out me, I’m the king of rock and the place to be.’ Now I’m making music and thinking, ‘what do I need to talk about’.”
His attitude suggests he is in another place, mentally, than he was in while a part of Run-DMC.
With the group, he says, he had a role. With his own album, he could rap about whatever he wanted.
“I have artistic freedom. I had freedom to be creative and innovative. I could educate. I could inspire. With Run-DMC, I had to be D.M.C., all tough, at all times,” he says. “Right now, I’m coming into my being. I have evolved into an artist.”
But it’s not God to whom McDaniels credits for shaping his new attitude. He thanks an unlikely person: Sarah McLachlan.
And he doesn’t just credit Sarah McLachlan for helping him find a purpose for his music. He credits her with finding a purpose for his life; he credits her with saving his life.
I ask McDaniels about this, and for the next 8 minutes, uninterrupted, he explains.
Ten years ago, Run-DMC was touring in Europe, selling out arenas, earning $100,000 a night. At the height of his group’s career, McDaniels started doubting everything he was doing.
“What the hell does all this mean? I’m here, I’m getting money, but I couldn?t put my finger on? there was something in me missing,” he explains.
“I was depressed. I had suicidal thoughts. For me being D.M.C., it was, ‘so what?’ In my mind, I was like, ‘I have to leave this level of existence to get to my next level of existence.’ I had suicidal thoughts and I had something wrong with me and I didn?t know what it was.”
He returned home, ready to die.
A car picked him up from the airport, and the first song to come on was “Angel,” by Sarah McLachlan.
“That record ‘Angel’ in ’97 saved my life.
“I heard that record for the first time and something in me said, ‘it’s beautiful to be alive. You’re all right’.”
For the next year, he says, he listened to Sarah McLachlan’s music and bought everything she had ever recorded.
He still didn’t know what to do with his life, in his mid-30s, but he knew he wanted to be alive.
A year later, confused and unsure, his manager “dragged” him to Clive Davis’ Grammy party, where he met Sarah McLachlan for the first time. She had no idea what was about to come from his mouth.
“I walk over to Sarah McLachlan. She sees me coming. She does what everybody does, which was really good for my confidence. ‘DMC, oh my god, I love Run-DMC. You guys are my favourite rap group.’ ‘Ms. McLachlan, let me tell you something. Your record ‘Angel’ saved my life. I was depressed and suicidal. Your record gave me a reason to live. The name of the record is ‘Angel.’ You sound like an angel. People say you’re an angel. But you’re not an angel to me. You’re God.’ She looks at me. She tells me, ‘thank you for telling me, Darryl. That?s what music is supposed to do.’ She shakes my hand and walks away.”
Three years later, he found out he was adopted. This, he says, is what was missing from his life and why he felt incomplete and suicidal in Europe.
“Sarah McLachlan’s record, at least if anything, gave me the strength to push on and persevere so that I was able to find out what the missing piece of Darryl was,” he says. “So when I found that out, I said, ‘wow, that?s why I felt like that three years ago’.”
He called Sarah McLachlan and asked her to record a song with him. She agreed and allowed him to record with her at her home recording studio in Vancouver, where she told him that she too was adopted.
“My record brought me to her because we had something in common,” he says. “We had a purpose and a destiny.”
The song, “Just Like Me,” a remake of Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle,” appears on the album.
Besides tackling important subjects, D.M.C. says he wanted his album to show youth that hip-hop is more about the image they see on TV. He is upset that other rappers flaunt their bling without showing where their money came from.
“It’s a beautiful thing if you get compensated for your talent, but you’re showing the younger generation result. You’re not showing them process,” he says. “Forget doing a show about what’s inside your house. Do a show about how many years you worked to get that house.”
He also says the emphasis in hip-hop is lost.
“I looked at the idea that image is everything. No, image is not everything. It’s part of the equation but its not everything,” D.M.C. says. “Nobody is focused on making good music. For me, the motivation was to make good music for good purposes. We all have issues. Hip-hop has to get back to talking about life again.”