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Run-DMC's Darryl McDaniels Is Getting Vulnerable About His Mental Health: 'It's a Sign of Strength' (Exclusive)

'Kings From Queens: The Run DMC Story' is available to stream on Peacock now

Original Post By Daniela Avila Updated on February 6, 2024 05:17PM EST

Daniela Avila is an editorial assistant at PEOPLE. She has been working at PEOPLE since 2021. Her work previously appeared on The Poly Post

Run-DMC was one of the highest-selling hip-hop groups of the '80s, but Darryl "DMC" McDaniels couldn't cope with the fame at that time.

In Run-DMC's newly-released Peacock documentary, Kings From Queens: The Run DMC Story, DMC opens up about struggling with celebrity, dealing with substance abuse and being on the brink of taking his own life.

Speaking to PEOPLE about why he wanted to go public with his mental health struggles, DMC, 59, says that showing fans that he's vulnerable "isn't a sign of weakness. It's a sign of strength."

"When you see us after the concert, when the record's out, when we're doing the shows and on the radio and the videos, you don't understand. You're seeing results, you don't see the process," he explains.

"Now, even when the process does go good, that didn't mean I was immune to struggle or adversity. It hit me at a late point in my life, but it was always there. It just got magnified by the situation that I was in," he adds. "Fortunately, the thing that makes it easy for me is I have this thing called hip-hop, which said to me the first day that I heard it, keep it real."

Now, DMC says he doesn't hold back his emotions "when I'm scared, confused, and afraid."

"When I tell my truth, I am given everything necessary for me to overcome it. If I hold it in, it will destroy me," he explains.

DMC says he was in a very dark place after the murder of Jam Master Jay in 2002 and was actually considering suicide. Then one day he was riding in a cab when he heard Sarah McLachlan's ballad "Angel."

"There was no feelings on the earth that I could relate to that would make me say, 'It's going to be all right' — until on the radio station, I heard that piano, and then I heard that voice saying, 'In the arms of an angel/Fly away...," he sings.

"Something in my spirit said, 'D, it's f—ed up right now. Life is traumatic. It feels like the world is ending, but as long as something that sounds like this exists, maybe I can stay here another day.'"

Kings From Queens: The Run DMC Story is available to stream now.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to

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