PHOTO: Darryl “DMC” McDaniels (c.) chatted up Queens Library Hip-Hop Coordinator Uncle Ralph McDaniels and Library Interim President and CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey last week at the Central branch in Jamaica. Photo Courtesy of the Queens Library
By Michael V. Cusenza
Armed with a smile and exuberance as infectious as any hit in Run-DMC’s catalog, hip-hop icon and borough son Darryl “DMC” McDaniels came home last week to discuss his new foray into publishing comics and a life of rhyme.
Hosted by the Queens Library at its Central branch in Jamaica, the event is part of the nonprofit’s initiative to celebrate and preserve the borough’s popular music culture, including hip-hop.
“Hip-hop is an important part of the musical and cultural heritage of Queens. We need to preserve that history,” said Bridget Quinn-Carey, interim president and CEO of the Library. “At the same time, music is a living, breathing way to connect with the community and attract new library users.”
DMC sat down last Tuesday afternoon with “Uncle” Ralph McDaniels (no relation), who was recently named the Library’s hip-hop coordinator, and the conversation took a rapt audience from the World’s Borough – DMC’s days running Hollis blocks, to classes at St. John’s University – to around the world with music mates Rev Run and Jam Master Jay.
He emphasized the power of curiosity, advised the younger students “not to be followers” and about the importance of taking in all genres of music. DMC said his natural talent for drawing led him to his new venture as the publisher of the independent comic book company, Darryl Makes Comics.
According to DMC, this latest artistic endeavor is dedicated to the idea that every walk of life has heroes and stories worth telling.
“Hip-hop was always based on creativity,” he said. “So what we’re trying to do with this comic book is not trying to create anything that’s new; we’re just going to show the world what’s already there… the beauty and the creativity of it.”