Did you love the 80’s? Well, National Geographic Channel did, too. Their new six-part documentary reviews the decade that they say set up the next two. In the 80’s hip-hop was born as were tech companies like Microsoft and Apple started to become dominant with the advent of the personal computer. Narrated by actor Rob Lowe, “The 80’s- The Decade the Made Us” debuts on National Geographic this Sunday, April 14th at 8 p.m. Darryl “DMC” McDaniels was a driving cultural force during the 80’s with his group Run D.M.C., which was hip-hop’s first platinum selling group and first to join hip-hop with commerce via their endorsement deal with Adidas. The first true superstars of hip hop are featured in the doc. DMC joined the Tom Joyner Morning Show to talk about “The 80’s” and his group’s contributions to hip-hop.
SKIP CHEATHAM: “The 80’s – The Decade that Made Us documentary premieres on National Geographic Channel Sunday April 14th. Run D.M.C. is featured and we gotta welcome to the show right now DMC! What’s going on?
DARRYL “DMC” MCDANIELS: Hey what’s happening? Good morning!
Skip: You know what I feel honored right now.
LONI LOVE: I do, too.
Skip: It’s not often you get a chance – a lot of people say a legend, an icon.
Loni: Right. He started hip-hop.
DMC: I can’t even comprehend those words, msn. But thank you, thank you, we all in it together.
Skip: Man, doing it real big. I just want to know – real talk. Can you still wear the clothes you used to rock onstage?
DMC: Actually, they’re too big.
Skip: Oh! Wow, I see you.
DMC: I lost about 30 pounds.
Skip: OK, OK.
DMC: I used to be 38-42 I would go to Burger King and get three triple Whoppers, French fries, onion rings and a shake. And that was in addition to all the 40 ounces of Old English we were drinking.
DMC: I cut that out now, so I had to go downsize my wardrobe.
Loni: Now you in shape to do “Dancing With the Stars” then, huh?
DMC: I don’t dance, though.
Loni: You just rock, huh?
DMC: Yeah, I just rock. But let’s keep it real I still rock the shell-toe Adidas. Those are eternal. If anything came out in the 80’s that was relevant for eternity, it would be the white shelltoes with the Black stripes. Those are hip-hop.
Loni: Yeah. That’s straight up. You were the witness to hip-hop in the MTV videos. What does it feel like doing a show like this where you have to revisit the 80’s?
DMC: it’s kinda weird because a lot of artists these days have the outlook of I’m going to make this music to get paid. For us it was fun. Every record we made was not only to be dope and impress the audience but also had a sense of purpose. We just wanted to get on and rock. We just wanted to be creative. We just wanted to have fun so truth be told everything we did accomplish was like “What?” The first to go gold, the first to go platinum it’s like what’s the big deal. The first to be on MTV, When we was growing up in Hollis, Queens, before MTV became MTV we didn’t have MTV. We didn’t even know what that was. Y’all got the cover of “Rolling Stone” like everything we did was a result of a sense of purpose. Our main motivation was we just wanted to get a record on the radio, like “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five” or “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa. But at the same time, our sole purpose was just to be the best deejay, like Jam Master Jay and the best two MC’s that you would ever see. I think that helped us to accomplish what we did because accomplishment wasn’t the destination.
Skip: Right, Right. You know what you did too, you guys were the first to do the collaboration.
Skip: Like collaborating with artists nobody would have thought. Like when y’all hooked up with a rock group. What’s this hip-hop and rock?
Skip: You see guys trying to do it now but you did it first.
DMC: People say nobody should try to make a rock/rap record except Run D.M.C. The good thing about that is when you look at what Run D.M.C. and Aerosmith did is Kid Rock said Run D.M.C. and Aerosmith had a baby and I popped out.
Loni Love: Oh, wow.
DMC: When you look at Lincoln Park, when you look at Cypress Hill, when you look at Blink 182, when you look at all these rock/rap groups they go “When we saw you, Run and Jay together we knew what we could do. What was really important about Run D.M.C. was whether you was in a dirt-poor ghetto or rich ass Beverly Hills, when you saw Jay, Darryl and Joe and you heard their record, you could relate to that person. On every street, every hood, every community, there was a Jay, Darryl and Joe. I think that’s what we did with hip-hop. We didn’t just make hip-hop about showbiz, I think we made hip-hop about community. We bought white and black people together, we brought hip-hop and rock together.