Run-D.M.C. Founder Inspires Teens

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North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center’s Leeds Place was hip hop heaven recently as Darryl McDaniels, the founder of Run-D.M.C., inspired a roomful of teens and adults with his stories of personal adversity and ultimate triumph.

“Darryl is a hip hop pioneer, a rap poet and an inspiring prophet,” said Andrew Malekoff, executive director of the Guidance Center. “The packed house got to experience all the sides of this remarkable man in a two-hour tour-de-force in which he taught us about the history of hip hop, delighted us performing rap, and moved us with intimate stories of resiliency. The audience gave him a standing ovation, which he richly deserved.”

In his talk, McDaniels encouraged the young people in the audience with the transcendent and core messages of hip hop: Always be open to doing something different. It could change your life.

“I’m no better than any one of you sitting here,” McDaniels said. “No matter what you are battling, you can beat it. And no matter what your passion is, be it music or art or science or law or medicine, go for your dreams. Everything needed to change the world is inside you. Education is your deliverance.”

McDaniels shared not only the story of his rise to fame and fortune but his personal struggles, which included a battle with severe depression and substance abuse.

“I truly believe that Darryl’s honest, uplifting talk has changed the lives of the young people in the audience,” said Malekoff. “He spoke from the heart, and his message came across loud and clear as he told the teens ‘Anything you can dream, you can do.’”

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