Darryl McDaniels of Run-D.M.C. visits West Haven middle schoolers

Darryl McDaniels from Run-D.M.C. visits middle schoolers in West Haven
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 7:02 PM EST
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WEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - Students at Bailey Middle School in West Haven were visited by a hip hop legend today.

Darryl McDaniels of Run-D.M.C. stopped by to speak with the 8th grade class about bullying, being kind, and making good decisions.

It’s hard to imagine anyone poking fun at Darryl McDaniels aka “Easy D”, a founding member of the iconic hip hop group Run-D.M.C., but he said growing up in Hollis Queens was full of challenges.

“I didn’t want to wear glasses because I got teased, bullied and picked on because I needed help to see,” said McDaniels.

That’s exactly what motivates McDaniels to speak openly about bullying, feelings, and struggles with mental health. He wants students to see what he couldn’t at the time: that sometimes a perceived weakness can really be your biggest strength.

“The very thing that people were ashamed of me about, was one of the powers I stood up in front of the world when I made my first record when I said ‘D’s for doing it all of the time, M is for the rhymes that are all mine, C is cool cool as can be,’ and my partner asked me ‘why do you wear those glasses?’ and I said so I can see,” McDaniels said.

Music, art, and the written word are all ways that McDaniels encourages kids who are struggling to express themselves. He leads by example, sharing things many other successful celebrities might not.

“I’ve been doing shows for 40 years getting on stage and I still get nervous! I walked into this school, and saw all the energy and I was nervous today! But I want to let children know, it’s okay to have emotions!” McDaniels said.

No matter your age or phase of life, you can overcome any obstacle and make dreams come true, like rapping with a living legend!

“Would you say, this speech is your recital? Yes. this speech is my recital, I think it’s very vital to rock a rhyme that’s right on time it’s tricky is the title here we go!” McDaniels said.