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Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide: A Memoir

Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide: A Memoir

by Darryl "DMC" McDaniels

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In this surprising and moving memoir, the legendary rap star and cofounder of Run D.M.C. keeps it a hundred percent, speaking out about his battle with depression and overcoming suicidal thoughts—one of the most devastating yet little known health issues plaguing the black community today.

As one third of the legendary rap group Run D.M.C., Darryl


In this surprising and moving memoir, the legendary rap star and cofounder of Run D.M.C. keeps it a hundred percent, speaking out about his battle with depression and overcoming suicidal thoughts—one of the most devastating yet little known health issues plaguing the black community today.

As one third of the legendary rap group Run D.M.C., Darryl “DMC” McDaniels—aka Legendary MC, The Devastating Mic Controller, and the King of Rock—had it all: talent, money, fame, prestige. While hitting #1 on the Billboard charts was exhilarating, the group’s success soon became overwhelming. A creative guy who enjoyed being at home alone or with his family, DMC turned to alcohol to numb himself, a retreat that became an addiction. For years, he went through the motions. But in 1997, when intoxication could no longer keep the pain at bay, he plunged into severe depression and became suicidal. He wasn’t alone. During the same period, suicide became the number three leading cause of death among black people—a health crisis that continues to this day.

In this riveting memoir, DMC speaks openly about his emotional and psychological struggles and the impact on his life, and addresses the many reasons that led him—and thousands of others—to consider suicide. Some of the factors include not being true to who you are, feelings of loneliness, isolation, and alienation, and a lack of understanding and support from friends and family when it’s needed most. He also provides essential information on resources for getting help. Revealing how even the most successful people can suffer from depression, DMC offers inspiration for everyone in pain—information and insight that he hopes can help save other lives.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 06/20/2016
McDaniels, one-third of the legendary rap group Run-DMC, confesses his private demons in his no-holds-barred tell-all. The entertainer writes about his home base of Hollis, Queens; his childhood as a nerdy comic book geek; his strict Southern parents; and using alcohol to numb his crippling stage fright while performing with his bandmates, Joseph "Run" Simmons and Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell, in the early 1980s. Holding very little back, he talks about the group's origins in 1981; scoring the first gold hip-hop record, Run-DMC, in 1984; earning the first platinum record, King of Rock, in 1985; and topping it with the multi-platinum Raising Hell in 1986. While the group appeared to be soaring until Jay's death in 2002, McDaniels says he was unraveling from emotional turmoil due to losing his voice, creative differences with the band, addictions, losing Jay, and finally learning he was adopted. Remarkably candid, very hip, and genuinely soulful, McDaniel's star-studded memoir of depression and hopelessness ultimately transitions into a reflective, inspirational mediation of rebirth and renewal. Agent: Carol Mann, Carol Mann Agency. (July)
Library Journal
Most people realize that the public and private personas of our favorite performers clash; but there are, it seems, different rules for rappers. In a genre predicated on the premise of "keeping it real," these personas are unified by both fan expectations and industry pressures. Here McDaniels (DMC), one-third of pioneering hip-hop group Run D.M.C., shows how devastating such restrictive thinking can be. The self-proclaimed "nerd" and "people pleaser" discusses the meteoric rise and fall of his iconic group and his strained relationship with bandmate Joseph "Run" Simmons. His descent into alcoholism and depression are written with such candor that it feels as though one is reading his personal diary. DMC not only deftly and concisely explains the Run D.M.C. formation and breakup but also intersperses inspirational wisdom for others struggling with difficult life circumstances as well. This important read isn't "just" a memoir; it is also a self-help book that opens the door for conversations about mental health. VERDICT Recommended for Run D.M.C. fans and anyone interested in reading about overcoming personal demons. [See Prepub Alert, 11/30/15.]—Tamela Chambers, Chicago Pub. Schs., IL
Harry Allen
“First, DMC transformed music with arch rhymes and hard, skyscraper-sized beats. Now, in Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide, he promises to change the way we look at our lives and mental health with gentle, plainly-spoken language and an utter commitment to honesty. In both instances, his gift to us are his words: Often funny, sometimes bitter, typically sharp, always penetrating. But in Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide, the driving rhythm we hear is the sound of his heart. A must-read.”
Chuck D
“DMC’s must-read memoir ventures into uncharted territory for all musicians, period-not just hip-hop artists. His honesty about his feelings easily makes this book an achievement that ranks alongside his Hall of Fame rhymes.”
Queen Latifah
“Darryl DMC McDaniels is a deeply-talented artist who has much to teach us. I applaud his courage and compassion in sharing his personal story. Ten Ways Not To Commit Suicide is an inspiring read for all audiences.”
Kevin Powell
“I have longed admired DMC. He, his group Run-DMC, are as much of my soul as my own blood relatives. They changed hip-hop, pop culture, young people worldwide-and they made poor kids like me believe in ourselves. But with this memoir DMC has done something far greater: he has stripped away the fame and success and money and legendary status and presents himself as human, raw, naked. Mental health, depression, suicide are not things many are comfortable discussing publicly or privately. But we can’t heal if we can’t talk. And talk DMC does, uncomfortably, transparently, about his own life, in a way that is not only salvation for him, but a model for us all to follow.”
Rolling Stone
“It’s a rare peek behind the curtain at a group that made an indelible mark, then faded away.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Darryl DMC McDaniels is a musical icon and one of the founders—along with Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons and the late, great Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell—of the groundbreaking rap group Run-DMC. With a fan base that rivals some of the biggest acts in rock and roll, Run-DMC has sold more than thirty million singles and albums worldwide and has helped transform hip-hop into one of the most popular musical genres of all time. In 2009, Run-DMC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2014, McDaniels launched the comic book company Darryl Makes Comics and published the graphic novel DMC. His work with the Felix Organization, a nonprofit he cofounded, led him to speak at the White House and to appear before Congress and various state legislatures on behalf of adoptees and foster children. When he’s not on tour speaking or performing, he lives in New York City.

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