DMC Meets With President Obama; Talks Fatherhood
He may be considered rap royalty among music fans, but DMC is humbled in knowing how much of a role his family has played in making him who he is today.Particularly his adopted father, Byford McDaniels, the man who instilled characteristics such as dedication, success and honesty in the Run-DMC rapper, while raising him as a kid.
“First of all, he worked everyday to send me to school. He worked everyday to pay to send me to every school that I was in to. And I wasn’t even his. But I was his,” DMC said. “He would take us on vacation, drive us to Canada. He would educate me. He would inform me. He would discipline me. He would take me to the park. He put me on the football team. He bought me my mixer and turntables.”
Byford McDaniels passed away one year after the death of Run-DMC member Jam Master Jay.
According to DMC, the patriarch’s “kindness, understanding, wisdom and respectfulness” stood out as well as his attitude of diligence, hard work, devotion, honesty and faithfulness.
“I learned what you really need to do to be a man. You gotta be intelligent. You have to be committed. He was a really honest dude,” the rap veteran added while noting the “extraordinary things” Byford did throughout his life and career.
“I remember when I was on the road, he would come and get my wife everyday to take her for her check up when she was pregnant with my son,” DMC reflected. “Like, just really dope stuff. He was Byford McDaniels, who I rapped about, was an incredible father. That’s why he was immortalized on Raising Hell. I got a lot of values from him.”
Those values were front and center on Friday (June 19) as DMC participated in President Obama’s national day of conversation about fatherhood and personal responsibility.
The rap star, who was joined by former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher, kicked off the Father’s Day weekend event by speaking to students at Ballou Senior High School in Washington, DC.
The pair was among a group of 15 accomplished men who inspired young men and women to pursue their dreams and aspirations by sharing personal stories while visiting Washington area community organizations.
A town hall meeting on fatherhood with Obama, community organization leaders and young men from the community organizations followed the visits as well as a barbecue with 130 high school juniors and seniors on the South Lawn of the White House.
“I think what Obama wanted to do; he wanted these kids not to just look at him and what he achieved," DMC said. "More importantly, what about their family? What about the black man next door that the kid could look at as an example?…It’s easy to make babies, but making a baby and being a father and being a man that these kids can look to for leadership, direction and information that’s a whole ‘nother story.”