DMC Reveals His Battle With Alcohol And Depression In New Book

He was the Devastating Mic Controller, but rapper DMC struggled to get a handle on his own life.

When the alcohol wasn’t enough to fill the hole in his heart and drive away the paralyzing depression, DMC seriously considered suicide.

“For years, I hated waking up,” writes DMC, the Hollis, Queens, native whose real name is Darryl McDaniels. “I suffered all this in silence, which is the worst thing to do if you want relief. I avoided people because I wanted to make sure that nobody really knew what I was going through.

“I didn’t know how to express my pain, my anger. Not only did I bottle up my feelings, but I also made sure that I kept myself far enough away from everyone regardless of whether they loved me or not, so that nobody could ever get an accurate gauge on how deep my despair ran.”

McDaniels, 52, has opened up before about his life as an adopted child, and the pain of nearly losing his voice.

But only now does the co-founder of legendary rap group Run-DMC open up about how his years of depression led to daily thoughts of suicide.

McDaniels bears his pain in a new book “Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide.”

He says the main reason for his downfall was his vocal troubles, which he later learned stemmed from a condition called spasmodic dysphonia, which causes involuntary movements of the voice box muscles.

DMC struggled with the condition from 1995 until early 2000.

“Who needs a rapper who can’t rap,” McDaniels writes. “I couldn’t rhyme. All I could do was stand around wearing a f---in’ hat. I was embarrassed and being dragged around the world to promote remixes only worsened my self esteem.”

McDaniels says he began smoking weed at 12 and drinking beer at 13. He drank so much beer and malt liquor in his teens and early 20s — a case (12) of 40-ounce bottles, daily — that he almost destroyed his liver and pancreas.

He quit after a doctor’s warning: “You drink, you die.”

He stayed sober for nearly a decade until the depression set in. Even before the suicidal thoughts, McDaniels said he had grown weary of Run-DMC because “the others had rejected almost all of my creative input.”

McDaniels says he suspects his voice problems were the result of shouting on tracks to be heard because studio producers intentionally kept his vocals lower than Joseph (Run) Simmons’ raps.

As for Simmons, McDaniels said his rap partner never expressed concern about his voice.

“Run hadn’t called me once to check on my health,” McDaniels writes. “No visits to the house. He didn’t even pass word through any of our mutual friends or business acquaintances.”

The book, published by HarperCollins was released on Tuesday.


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