SXSW – Thursday, 3/16/17

Today is the first day that I am actually waking up and my legs and feet don’t hurt. Which is pretty chill and I couldn’t be any happier than I am right now. It looks ugly as hell outside and it feels like it is going to rain but I’m cool with it. At least it isn’t 20 or 30 degrees outside right now. So originally I was suppose to go to the Creating a Great Live Show panel from 12:30-2 pm but that was until I found out that Darryl McDaniels, or as the world knows him as D.M.C. from Def Jam’s legendary Hip Hop group Run-DMC. As soon as I heard that was going on, I think you all ready know where I ended up at ha.

At 12:30 pm, I attended Darryl McDaniels’ panel which was probably the best panel I have gone to so far. Darryl talked about his first memory of being exposed to Hip Hop in 78 after hearing a one, one in half minute verse being spit. After that, that verse that Darryl had heard inspired him to start exploring Hip Hop as a genre and he figured out real quick how popular this newfound genre really was especially in his neighborhood of Queens, New York. Fast forwarding about about 2 years or so, Darryl was finally introduced to one of Hip Hop’s most legendary DJs, Grandmaster Flash. While both Darryl and his older brother were looking to get their hands on some gear. They had an idea about selling all the comic books they have been collecting as kids so they could afford to buy two turntables and a mixer, which turned out to be successful even though Darryl didn’t want to sell his comic books. Once Darryl and his brother got their DJ equipment, they began practicing to get better while still listening to Grandmaster Flash to figure out the science of DJing while still not trying to copy Flash’s style. While being exposed to Flash, Darryl was listening to Flash and his group called, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five which includes the pioneer of the first ever 16 bar verse writer Melle Mel.Once he heard Melle Mel spit, it inspired him to start writing as well but while keeping all of his lyrics in the dark. He was kind of shy about it. While he would write, he would try to incorporate things that he learned from reading comic books. Darryl talked about how all the superheroes he would read about they were defined by adjectives. For example, “Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman.” He wanted to create that persona as a rap so he could draw people into his music, like how he was drawn to his comic books. Later on, Darryl became friends with Joseph Simmons or as we know him as Rev Run in middle school. They became really close friends and found out that they were both very passionate about music, especially Hip Hop. By the time that both Darryl and Joseph were in high school, they would meet up every day after school was over to work on music. Writing rhymes and making beats to Darryl was homework or play time essentially. It was something that he just loved to do. Before going to college, Darryl would go to the studio with Joseph while he was recording an album thanks to Joseph older brother Russell Simmons, one of the co-founders of Def Jam Recordings. While Joseph was working on this album, Russell wanted him to work with this random DJ from Europe who he had no interest in working with. Joseph would always tell Darryl to spit for Russell and he always told Russell to listen to Darryl rap but.. Darryl was either to nervous to do it or Russell just straight didn’t think that Darryl was capable of laying down a clean flow. Finally, Russell heard one of Darryl raps and it’s all history from there. Run-D.M.C. became a powerhouse in the world of Hip Hop and working with or performing alongside or opening for acts such as LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and one of Rock ‘n’Roll’s most famous bands, Aerosmith.

This learning the history of how Darryl became who he was turned out amazing but my favorite part of this panel was when they strayed away from talking about Hip Hop and didn’t really continue with the rest of Run-D.M.C. history. Instead, Darryl dove into a time period in his life where he found himself needing help and not Hip Hop.

In 1993, Darryl was suffering with Depression and a heavy alcohol addiction. This basically lead to him falling off the map and disappearing. For anyone who use to watch the MTV show, Run’s House. The majority of the audience was wondering where Darryl was or why he never showed up on the show. It was because of what he was dealing with internally, he never ever had any beef with Rev or Russ. Darryl then decided to write a book and tell the story of Darryl McDaniels and not D.M.C. Darrell called his parents to find out info on his birth but was eventually told that he was originally adopted. This lead to him seeking out therapy. Through find happiness in himself, he has be giving the opportunity to help other  and talk to those who are suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts. What Darryl is doing now is amazing and if you truly want to get to know Darryl McDaniels and not one of the greatest Emcees D.M.C. please please check out his book, “Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide: A Memoir” and learn about the true person inside from Queens, New York.

Hearing this part of the panel helped me reflect on my struggles in life and what’s going on in my head. I feel that I personally put on a great disguise and hide how i am truly feeling. After hearing this panel, I’m definitely going to save what little money I have and buy his book.

Besides that awesome panel. Scotty and I were able to go out last night and have an awesome time. We got to see Denzel Curry, Rhapsody & 9th Wonder perform last night at Stubbs while also catching Noname at the Mohawk right down the street. It was absolutely awesome to see those acts especially 9th Wonder due to the fact that he is one of my favorite Djs/Producers in Hip Hop today.

***Video courtesy of Snapchat***


Thursday might be just as cool as Tuesday but because of two separate reasons. I am so stoked to have been able to experience this festival especially this panel from Darryl McDaniels more than half way through. Just two more days and I’m out! Can’t wait to see what Friday can bring to the table after such an awesome Thursday.


***Video courtesy of Snapchat***







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