Hip-hop pioneer Darryl “DMC” McDaniels performed an intimate show at a Philadelphia record store just days after performing in front of thousands at Yankee Stadium in New York City.
Cratediggaz Records hosted a free show Sunday, celebrating not only the 50th anniversary of the music genre, but the new Issue of the DMC Universe comic book featuring artwork by local artist Dave Proch. The shop was at its full capacity of 100 for the intimate gig featuring one of the two MCs in the legendary group, Run DMC.
“We wanted to do it in a place where music lives,” McDaniels said. “The culture is alive in a place like this.”
C.D. Bob started the record store back in 2021, and said it was special to have a pioneer of the genre performing in his shop.
“I’m honestly [as] blown away as everybody else is,” he said. “I think it’s super dope that a dude that revolutionized an entire genre is humble enough that he still messes with people of lower status. I’ve only been here for like a little over a year, and that’s as legendary as you get, as far as I’m concerned.”
In 1973, hip-hop was born during a back-to-school party in New York City, sprouting influential artists over the years, including Run DMC, who broke racial barriers while achieving multiple platinum hits, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
DMC said he’s been in the “hip-hop lifestyle” since he was 15 and that music is only one part of the culture.
“Hip-hop didn’t just create these rap people that make these records that you see on Instagram,” McDaniels said. “Hip-hop is a culture full of art, dance, music, literature … And it created designers, it created directors, it created playwrights, it created educators. So this celebration is an official celebration to let people know after the 50th year of hip hop, what will you be doing everyday with your life?”
It wasn’t DMC’s first trip to Philly, he reminisced on driving over from New York to After Midnight, a club where many of his hip-hop colleagues, including LL Cool J, would perform back in the day.
“This is like home to me,” McDaniels said. “I was driving here and said, ‘This is like me going to Brooklyn.’ Listen in ‘86, when we would get bored in New York, we said, ‘Yo, let’s drive to Philly,’ because the hip-hop scene here was always poppin’. It’s still poppin’.”