Darryl McDaniels is better known as the musician and rapper DMC and as the founding member of the hip hop group Run-DMC. Considered one of the pioneers of hip hop culture, this artist has enjoyed a long and successful career. After almost four decades in the music industry, it is estimated that he has a personal net worth of $45 million. So, how did Darryl McDaniels get so rich?
Born in Harlem, New York, on May 31, 1964, Darryl McDaniels was adopted as a baby and grew up in Hollis, Queens. After listening to the music of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, he became interested in hip hop music. By 1978, he had taught himself to DJ using a mixer and turntables that his older brother had given to him and he started to use the name Grandmaster Get High.
In the same year, McDaniels began mixing music with his friend Joseph ‘Run’ Simmons who had his own DJ equipment, which led to McDaniels selling his mixer and turntables. At the same time, Jam-Master-Jay had gained a reputation as one of the best DJs in the neighborhood. He joined the group with McDaniels and Simmons to form Run-DMC and encouraged McDaniels to try rapping instead of being a DJ. Once he had begun rapping, McDaniels took on the name Easy D. He then changed this to DMcD before shortening it to DMC.
Run DMC’s First Album and Success
It wasn’t until 1984 that the group released their first album. The self-titled album was exceptionally successful considering it was their first release. It reached the top spot in the Top R&B/ Hip-Hop Albums chart and number six on the Billboard 200. Therefore, it had appeal in the mainstream industry as well as in the hip hop market. The trio released their ‘King of Rock’ album in 1985, followed by their ‘Raising Hell’ album the following year. According to The History Makers, the latter was their best-selling album and achieved triple platinum status.
Run-DMC covered Aerosmith’s single ‘Walk This Way’ in 1986, and Steven Tyler and Joe Perry from Aerosmith were guest vocalists and guitarists on the new version of the single they wrote and released back in 1975. This single performed well in several countries, especially in New Zealand where it topped the charts. The single was one of the tracks on their ‘Raising Hell’ album. McDaniels later joined Aerosmith at a 2007 festival in London to perform this song with the band. Other reasons why 1986 was such a great year for Run-DMC was that they were the first rap group to perform on ‘Saturday Night Live’. Furthermore, this was also the year when they became the first rap group to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
By 1987, the trio was touring. McDaniels also wrote ‘Christmas in Hollis’, and his mother featured in the video for the single, which was filmed in Hollis. Although his music career was going well by this time, things were a little different in his personal life. He had developed a reputation as a heavy drinker and was rumored to drink more than eight bottles of liquor each day. This led to him getting in trouble with the police on several occasions.
The 90s and Beyond
The following decade was a troublesome period in Darryl McDaniels’ life. Although he was still touring and performing with Run-DMC, it began to seem like the group that format would not enjoy commercial success. This combined with his personal issues led to McDaniels suffering from depression. He wanted to make the group more appealing by softening the sound of the group, but the other members disagreed. The group released ‘Crown Royal’ in 2001 but Run-DMC appeared on only three tracks due to their ongoing creative differences and feuding.
This flung McDaniels into further depression but decided to take action and reassess his career. He decided to take a break from music and to write his autobiography instead. This led to him uncovering some shocking news while he was researching his background. His mother had never told him that he was adopted, but the secret was now revealed. He released his autobiography ‘King of Rock: Respect, Responsibility, and My Life with Run-DMC’ was released in 2001.
McDaniels decided to search for his birth mother and took part in a documentary about his quest which was aired on VH1 in 2006. The documentary ended with him being reunited with his birth mother and him thanking her for choosing to put him up for adoption. Later that year, McDaniels released ‘Checks, Thugs, and Rock N’ Roll’, which was his first album as a solo artist. He went on to release a further solo album ‘Back from the Dead EP’ in 2017. Since then, he has collaborated with many other artists and has featured as a guest soloist on other artists’ albums. Some of these artists have included Solus Deus, Caparezza, DeLiverance, and O.A.R.
Where the money comes from
It is now estimated that Darryl McDaniels has an estimated personal net worth of $45 million. The majority of this money was earned through his work in the music industry, although some of his money is from his television appearances and his autobiography. However, he has also been involved in several other ventures that have contributed to him becoming so rich.
One such venture is his involvement in two video games. In 2005, he provided the voice for Scopes in ‘The Warriors’. He then appeared as himself in the 2008 music video game ‘Guitar Hero: Aerosmith’. He has also ventured into the comics industry when he published his own comic imprint ‘Darryl Makes Comics’, abbreviated to DMC like his stage name, in 2014. He did this because he has had a lifelong passion for comics. He launched his comic book at the New York Comic Con.
Darryl McDaniels continues to work in the music industry, so his wealth will probably continue to grow. He currently resides in Wayne, New Jersey. In his spare time, he raises money for and works with children in foster care and those who have been adopted.