On Wednesday, October 5 Darryl McDaniels aka DMC, founding member of legendary Hip Hop group Run DMC was just hanging out at the NBA Store on 5th Ave; taking pictures with customers and speaking to press about the launch of the group’s new product line ‘RUN CTY‘, a collaboration exclusively done with leading sports merchandise company, Fanatics.
From 11-1 PM, fans and onlookers flocked throughout the NBA flagship store, waiting in line to steal a picture with the legend, and purchase some RUN CTY gear while a special DJ set by the late Jam Master Jay‘s (1/3 of Run DMC) son, TJ Mizell of WEtv‘s Growing Up Hip Hop, went on in the background; and made for a very live shopping experience.
After thirty plus years in the game, the presence of Hip Hop pioneers, Run DMC in the world is still ever current. Being at the forefront of Hip Hop history and Rock N Roll Hall of Famers, the group has collected many firsts of firsts , paving the way for likes of, you name it, the many greats of today.
With classic hits like Its Like That, Sucker M.C.‘s, and my all-time favorite collaboration and groundbreaking hit with Aerosmith‘s Steven Tyler, Walk This Way, which knocked down barriers creating major headway and recognition for the group and Hip Hop overall. And after all these years, the group, collectively and individually continue to use their platforms to inspire, ignite and arouse the cool, the passionate and the Hulk in us all.
“I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and humbled today,” says a super welcoming and regal DMC, in reference to the occasion.
How did this collaboration with Fanatics come about?
Well, music has always been affiliated with sports, I would say mostly in the last couple of years with the birth of hip hop and the success of rock & roll. If you go to a football game, a basketball game, a hockey game, they are always throwing on the Rolling Stones, or Nirvana, or they always throwing on some James Brown, or some Hip Hop song. Whether its House of Pain, Walk This Way, Tricky or whatever. So music has always had this relationship with sports.
We started this collaboration with the NBA because you know growing up as a little kid, we use to go to the park and play ball; then at nighttime, we’d bring out the turntables and the records and put on a rock concert. So we started in the NBA because Fanatics came up with the idea of using the iconic Run DMC logo and interweave that with your favorite city, your favorite team, and your favorite teams colors.
So it makes some huge statement because…forget about us and what we are doing here, when you see the Run DMC logo, you know that’s going to be something dope. It’s classy, its integrity, and you know it’s going to be something good. So we figured that we’d take the iconic Run DMC bars, put the word Run, because everybody feels like they’re running something.
Everybody wants to be running something.
It’s a competitive and creatively safe way to boost up the idea of competition. So you got your shirt on saying that you run Cleveland, but I got mines on saying that I’m Golden State. It’s a competitive and safe way, utilizing creativity in the arts to do something fun. And when people see the run DMC logo, they always think of something that’s good and fun. So not only with the NBA, Fanatics thought of doing it with the NHL and the national football league.
And fashion overall right?
Exactly. Because Hip Hop has had an immeasurable affect on fashion.
The earliest Hip Hop records, if we said, we wore something, or we liked something, that made it cool. So Fanatics and the leagues also, they know what they are doing. They are popular as hell, but its even more cooler to be affiliated with Hip Hop and Run DMC.
How do you feel to be one of the pioneers, as one third of Run DMC, a pioneer of many things, not even just in music but even Fashion?
Put it like this, before Hip Hop was ever put on records, we represented a style, a vibe, an aura, and a creativity that we had no idea would have such a global impact. But that being said, our style, the way we walk, the way we talk, the way we dress, the way that we make our music, it’s something that could relate cross-cultures, whatever race, religion, color that you are, hip hop is that powerful.
Run DMC, just happened to be the ones. We were lucky enough that people said, ‘yo, y’all can represent us because y’all got it all; y’all make dope music’. Whether it was our leather suits, or our Adidas suits. I think what really started it all was when we made the record, Adidas. We did a record about Adidas because we liked Adidas, but we had no idea that it was going to lead to us being the first non-athletic entity to get a major endorsement from a sports-apparel company. That opened up the door for Phat Farm, for Sean John, for G Unit, for Rocawear. I even got a rhyme for when I’m speaking at schools, and the kids are looking at me like I’m an old, old school dude. I say (in a rap),
“No curls, no braids, peasy-head and still get paid. I’m one of the reasons why Yeezy’s can get made.”
And they’re all like ‘ahhhhh’. And nobody can hate on that because it’s true. We kind of planted the seeds, not just for Yeezy’s, not just for us, but for Hip Hop to have an appeal outside of the music.
And rightfully so, as my outfit that day was totally inspired by these guys. Addidas shoes, Addidas jogging pants, Addidas down to my socks during this interview.
DMC continued to say,
When we were growing up, it was Adidas, it was Pumas, it was Pro-Keds, but we also rocked the Chucks like the Chucks they rock on the West coast. One of my favorite sneakers growing up, I’m talking about when I was nine, ten, eleven was the Chucks.
Can you speak on that super-hero inside that we sometimes have to lean on in order to get things done?
Everybody has a super-power. Everybody is facing battles in life, I don’t care what it is, physical, mental, spiritual, economic, educational. Inside of us all is a super hero. When I was a little kid growing up in Hollis, Queens, life was hard. But for some reason, I loved education. And I was able to take my love for education, which people didn’t think would get me anywhere, but I never been to jail, I never sold drugs, you know, I don’t want to get shot – because it hurts. But I came along rhyming about education,
“I’m DMC, in the place to be, I go to St. Johns University.
Since kindergarten, I acquired the knowledge,
after twelfth grade I went straight to college.”
If it wasn’t for that power, that gift of education and knowledge, that elevated me. Inside of us, there’s something more than just physical and stuff that you can touch. I don’t care what people are going through.
I just put a book out in the summer called, Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide. We all have struggles, I don’t care if its depression, low self esteem, substance abuse, all of that, I was there.
Deep down inside of me, it’s the same power the Hulk has, the same power that Superman has.
Whatever is your passion, whatever is your love. But most importantly, no matter what you are going through, there is always someone you can talk to, who can see in you what you don’t see in yourself.
So the metaphor of what super heroes are and what people need to realize, it could be the end of the world, but there is something inside of you, or something beside you that can make you survive.
It’s likes that, and that’s the way it is.
With a new sports season upon us, its just about time for folks to get their gear together. Whether at the game or in front of the big screen at home rooting for your favorite team, you will need some RUN CTY on. Fanatics and Run DMC take team spirit to a new level by merging NBA, NHL and NFL logos and colors with the classic Run DMC logo, putting it on t-shirts, sweatshirts to snapback hats.
The line is currently available for purchase on Fanatics.com and other affiliated outlets. Get your team support on and run your city how you see fit.