DMC Rocks the Hard Rock

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Run-DMC won’t perform at tonight’s induction ceremonies, but the group’s Darryl “DMC” McDaniels appeared at the Hard Rock Café this morning to play a short, four-song set that included “It’s Tricky” and “Walk This Way.” The event was a benefit for the Felix Foundation, an organization McDaniels co-founded that’s designed to provided adopted children with opportunities they would otherwise not have.

McDaniels himself is adopted, something he talked about from the stage as he recounted that he didn’t find that out until he was 35 years old, an “alcoholic, suicidal wreck at the time.” “I represent purpose and
destiny,” he told the packed house, which included several children from foster homes. “When these kids look at me, I want them to see them. I am them. Do not let your situation define who you are.”

With regard to Joseph (Rev. Run) Simmons, the other living member of Run-DMC, McDaniels dismissively said, “He’s a preacher; I’m a rapper.” The four-song set, for which a DJ (and several hangers-on clad from head-to-toe in Adidas gear) accompanied McDaniels, found the rapper revisiting “Just Like Me (Cat’s in the Cradle),” a tune he originally did with Sarah McLachlan, who’s also adopted.

While McDaniels’ performance left something to be desired (his rapping was fine, but he really struggled with the parts that required him to sing), he did get the audience to sing the refrain (a riff from Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle”). He closed with “Walk this Way” and it took little effort to get the audience to rise to its feet, especially as McDaniels spent a good deal of time running through the club so frantically he even appeared out of breath afterward. —Jeff Niesel

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