KINGS FROM QUEENS: THE RUN DMC STORY — “Kings From Queens: The RUN DMC Story Premiere” — Pictured: Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons at the Times Center on January 27, 2024 — (Photo by: Bryan Bedder/Peacock)

Recently, Peacock released the highly anticipated three-part documentary, “Kings From Queens: The Run DMC story” which tells the journey of how Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell met on the streets of Hollis, Queens and became pioneers in the music industry as well as cultural icons.

Similar to the late Clarence Avant, who was known as “The Godfather of Black Music,” “Kings From Queens” interweaves the many ways in which Run DMC’s career was integral in paving the way for other musicians. Artists such as LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, MC Lyte, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Questlove, Emienem, and more share their experiences of being inspired by Run DMC.

The catalyst for the making of the documentary was the recent biopic boom. After the release of films about Tupac, Biggie, and NWA’s, “Straight Outta Compton,” Darryl “DMC” McDaniels shared that there was an expectation for a Run DMC biopic next.

“We’re known for doing things a little bit differently. I’m a big fan of music docs so I said instead of jumping on the biopic bandwagon, let’s do a documentary first then we can select stories to focus on if we were to do a biopic or a series,” said McDaniels.

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“We started working on it then Covid hit. Once the pandemic was over, we went right into the celebration of the 50th year of hip-hop so the stars aligned perfectly.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Rev. Run said, “After all of the work that was put into it, for this to happen around the same time as the 50th anniversary of hip hop, I call it serendipity, it’s God, I didn’t have a big say in “Why now? Or why Yankee’s stadium, I didn’t even know it was going to coincide or be close to the 50th year of Hip Hop but that’s exciting for me as well. I’m just a servant of God, He wanted it to come at this time and I’m here for it.”

Rev. Run is no stranger to TV and film production. Having starred in several scripted series, most notably “Run’s House” which ran on MTV for six seasons, he shared that executive producing this documentary and condensing a forty-year career across three one-hour episodes wasn’t difficult.

“The story kind of tells itself if you look back at when “Sucker M.C.’s” came out, “My Adidas” and ‘Walk This Way.’ I just had to go back to Holis, back to DMC’s house, and say ‘This is where we used to DJ in the basement.’ Then I go back to my house and say, ‘This is where DMC and I used to walk this way.’ It all came together by just reminiscing, putting our minds together, and saying this is the storyline.”

Expounding upon what were the most memorable aspects of the documentary, Rev. Run said that it’s less about the momentous occasions such as being the first rap group with a Gold record from their self-titled album in 1984 or being the only rap group to perform in front of nearly 100,000 people at Live Aid Benefit Concert in 1985.

“Seeing the end result didn’t touch me as much as seeing the beginning. That’s what made me see and feel something that was going to fulfill people’s curiosity more than ‘he played at this big place,’” said Rev. Run.

Referencing the beginning of his career, “Deejaying for Kurtis Blow, or seeing Darryl’s house, those pure moments will be what people gravitate towards. The work before the smash [fame]” he added.

Darryl “DMC” McDaniels at The Times Square Premiere of “Kings From Queen: The Run DMC Story” (Peacock)

Speaking of fame, the documentary also addresses how each of the members handled massive success in their twenties. In reflecting on the experience of needing time to retreat and compose himself after being in the public eye, Rev. Run says in the documentary, “You can handle a bottle of water but can you handle the ocean?” In the age of social media virality, the Sentinel asked Rev Run for his advice on how to prepare for fame.

He shared, “You’re never ready for it, you don’t know when it’s going to come. What I can say is if you happen to be so lucky and blessed that you have massive fame, try and stay humble, stay grounded and family oriented because those are the people who will be there will things calm down.”

The documentary also highlights the oftentimes overlooked adverse side of fame. McDaniels candidly shares how he overcame his bouts with depression and alcoholism.

“Fame is just a label. What you must prepare for are the adversities that come with this life. You don’t see the no’s, the mental, emotional, or business problems. For me, hip hop is about keeping it real, and I realized that I’m a thousand times more potent when I tell you that in addition to being the ‘devastating mind controlling King of Rock who walked this way in his Adidas and who told the world how tricky it is.’ I’m more inspirational when I tell you I’m going through something.”

McDaniels adds that music helped him to find his next passion project as a comic book author. “Because of hip hop, I meet people who say, ‘DMC you’re my superhero’ and I realized that superheroes, as powerful as they are, have gone through a lot of personal issues but when the time comes, they rise to the occasion. I realized that whether you’re in the music business or you’re a doctor, a lawyer, or a plumber, we all go through stuff and you have to go through to get to.”

In regards to what he hopes the audience takes away from the documentary, McDaniels shared, “You may know someone struggling with some form of addiction or depression and after seeing this Run DMC documentary, you’re inspired to tell that person they can get help and overcome what they’re going through.”

Kings from Queens: The Run DMC Story is streaming now exclusively on Peacock.