It’s Friday (August 11)—the official 50th birthday of Hip-Hop—and as celebrations erupt across not just the five boroughs but the entire country, DMC has another reason to hold his head high. His new single, “Kingdom Come,” has arrived, the first taste of his forthcoming solo album. Produced by Big K.O., the track comes with a nod to De La Soul MC, Trugoy The Dove, who passed away in February.
“I’m the King of Rock, that’s right boy/I play this funky music like a white boy/This is for the b-girl and b-boy, and for the sucker MCs, I destroy/And this is dedicated to Trugoy/We do this one all for you boy (yeah)/De La Soul rock on eternally,” DMC rhymes on the track.
In addition to releasing the single, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels is mere hours away from taking the stage at Yankee Stadium, where he’ll perform with Rev. Joseph “Run” Simmons under the Run-DMC umbrella for a final time. As DMC told Rock The Bells in a recent interview, Run-DMC could never be the same after the 2002 murder of their beloved DJ, Jam Master Jay. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t looking forward to once again rocking their catalog of classic Hip-Hop anthems in the Bronx, the place where it all began. He also has a few surprises for the audience.
“It’s the Bronx—the birthplace of Hip-Hop!” DMC tells Rock The Bells with an unbridled enthusiasm. “I’m coming to pay homage to the culture that allowed my rock-n-roll dreams come true. Every DJ, MC, breaker, beatboxer and graffiti artist before recorded rap are the true pioneers and legends who are continually overlooked. Their stories and performances are so important to our culture. I’m have Waterbed Kev and Master Rob from The Fantastic Five coming. I can’t wait to meet them. They are two MCs from one of the greatest groups in Hip-Hop history. For me, that’s like meeting Howling Wolf and Buddy Guy.”
DMC, who’s heavily involved in youth mentorship programs and promoting substance abuse and mental health awareness, is hoping he’ll inspire the next generation to use their pens for good. As he explains, “I want to see Hip-Hop utilize its creative powers and become more responsible. It’s time to put positivity in the front and stop negativity from being acceptable. Creativity must save—it’s not meant to destroy. So I guess I’m like a superhero because I know and live ‘with great power comes an even greater responsibility.’”
But even as Hip-Hop turns a half a century old, DMC is confident there’s more to come.
“[Jam Master] Jay would say, ‘We just getting started,’” he says. “‘Let’s have some more fun. Tell the soundman to turn up the music.’ He would say people need to get back to dancing—stop standing around looking at and holding the goddamn phones. After all, 50 isn’t old—it’s experienced.”
“Kingdom Come” will be available on all digital streaming platforms next week. Until then, bump the exclusive below.