DMC Explains Overcoming Alcoholism, Depression and Spasmodic Dysphonia

In his recent documentary, "Walk This Way," DMC tells how a Sarah McLachlan song prevented him from committing suicide.

For the better part of five years, many Hip Hop fans were unaware that legendary emcee Darryl “DMC” McDaniels was battling Spasmodic Dysphonia. The condition, which causes involuntary movements of one or more muscles of the voice box,  can ultimately result in the loss of one’s voice. In addition to succumbing to alcoholism, DMC said he was fighting depression with what he felt to be a diminished role within Hip Hop. During a July 10 airing of the documentary “DMC: Walk This Way,” DMC chronicled how he overcame his struggles.

“You can ask my wife, I read the bible 20 times from start to finish and that didn’t work,” DMC explained. “Somebody tells me about this guy named Deepak Chopra, so I go to Borders and Barnes & Nobles and it’s like, ‘Meaning of Life!’ I get all his books, and that didn’t work...I was at a point where I was losing it all, and Jack Daniels became my best friend. My other best friend was Jim Beam.”

After a long bout with alcoholism, Spasmodic Dysphonia and the depression with no longer being able to rap, DMC said he often stood on the balcony of his hotel room and considered jumping off and committing suicide. Ultimately, it would be another musician who stopped him. After a hired tour driver hounded him for an autograph, the driver turned the radio on Hot 97. Since he was tired of hearing music from the Hip Hop culture he felt he was no longer a part of, DMC requested the driver turn the station, and it randomly landed on a contemporary/inspirational station.

“I’m in the back of the car, and I hear this song by Sarah McLachlan called ‘Angel,’” DMC recounted. “I hear that song, and something in me says, ‘D, it’s good to be alive. Life is good.’ That song saved my life. It kept me from committing suicide.”

RELATED: DMC Documentary "DMC: Walk This Way” To Debut On July 10th



  • Jason

    I would like to hear more rappers stories of battles with depression and alcoholism. good idea for a show.


    that DOC was good glad i caught it

  • Anonymous

    yall spelt Sarah McLachlan wrong

  • Chairman

    I feel DMC completely. The Bible is a good story, but it doesn't make magic happen in everyone's life. Eastern guru's like Chopra, and Siddhartha Gautama, and Gandhi are hella overrated in my opinion. What DMC went through is a classical mid-life crisis, where one looks at his life's work, and wonders, What does it all mean? The answer, as he found, is that sometimes, it doesn't mean anything... it's just life! And life itself is good, and worth living. When I say DMC is one of my adolescent HEROES, I'm really not emphasizing it enough. Growing up in a lily white suburb in the 1980's surrounded by kids who loved Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, and that type of shit, Run DMC's music made me proud to be black- cause black was cool. Seeing how hip-hop took over pop culture over the past twenty years has been a mind blowing experience. People forget what it was like before. DMC is definitely overlooked, and that's a shame. Hold your head, Darryl Mac! You are loved, and will NEVER be forgotten!

    • Dave

      Well said. I grew up in a lower middle class suburbs of Atlanta in the 80's and tried but couldn't embrace the whole rock scene. So, I turned to hip hop. I remember what it was like, when it was a "fad". As a white guy, I've taken a lot of flack, asked if I thought I was balck. Though I never "acted" black, whatever that means. At 34 years old, I love hip hop. And, as a recovered alcoholic, I can relate to DMC. Sounds like we share a very similiar story. It looks like we have more in common that Ozzy Osbourne. Imagine that. I love music, especially hip hop. It isn't dead, more alive than ever. Sometimes you have to dig a little for the gold.

  • Jess Devitt

    inspirational. great to hear that DMC is doing better. terrible that he even had to go through what he did.

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