Darryl “DMC” McDaniels is a pioneer in the rap game. He founded the legendary group Run-DMC, whose impact on hip-hop culture is immeasurable. After releasing the track “My Adidas” in 1986, Run-DMC became the first non-athletes ever to land an endorsement deal with a sports apparel company. They bridged the gap between music, sports, and fashion.
The name Run-DMC is itself iconic, so that’s why when the group announced they were partnering with Fanatics to drop a Run-DMC-inspired product line called RUN-CTY, we had to check it out. At the NBA Store in midtown Manhattan, we chatted with DMC to get his thoughts on the line, his beloved Knicks, and Run-DMC’s cultural legacy. He even gave us an exclusive preview—some free bars—of the 2016-17 Knicks anthem he cooked up with DJ Premier. It’s the first time DMC and Preem have ever linked, so check out the bars to this year’s New York Knicks song below.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Complex: I love the product line. It’s really dope.
DMC: The cool thing about it is outside of music and sports, it’s a fashion statement. It’s personal to each team and each city, and it has the Run-DMC logo. When you see the Run-DMC logo itself, you know it’s dope. So affiliating that iconic image with your favorite sports team or city, it does a lot for the wearer.
The relationship between music and sports has always existed, even outside of basketball and hip-hop. When you go to a sports game, they’re playing Nirvana, they’re playing Rage Against the Machine, they’re playing Queen, “We Will Rock You.” The music and sports relationship was always there. What we’re doing now, it’s not just music and sports. It’s fashion, as well.
That shirt you’re wearing [a Run-NYC Knicks shirt] is awesome.
You wanna hear something cool?
Me and DJ Premier just did the new Knicks anthem. And it’s New York City. It ain’t no EDM, it ain't no pop music.
Me and DJ Premier just did the new Knicks anthem.
YES. And it’s New York City. It ain’t no EDM, it ain’t no pop music.
Is that dropping soon?
It’s dropping very soon. Just got the final thing. It’s KILLA.
[Starts rapping.] DMC is on the mic, and Preem is on the mix /
That’s all I gotta say. It’s real tough. It was my first time working with DJ Premier. It’s the New York Knicks new anthem. It’s hard.
[Starts rapping.] The attitude and the mood is New York / Nobody can do it like New York / This is how we do it in New York / So let’s show ‘em how we do it in New York / Let’s go!
Is that a sample of what’s to come?
Yeah. And then the beat drops and it’s over.
In terms of the actual team—Knicks fans have a real love-hate relationship with Carmelo.
Big time. Like with every star.
How do you feel about Melo?
I think Melo’s good. We needed to put more players behind him so he can go out and get 40. Even Jordan had Pippen and Rodman. He had a supporting cast. It’s all about taking Carmelo Anthony and utilizing him within the system. Maybe the triangle wasn’t for New York. We New York man, we don’t need no triangle! We need to play ass-kicking, hard-defense basketball. Remember the iconic poster? With John Starks dunking on Jordan and Grant? We need that attitude. That’s why me and Premier said that attitude and the mood is New York.
Fill in the blank: The Knicks will win an NBA championship in “blank” years.
So in 2023-2024. You heard it here first.