@ CJ's IN THE STRIP - MARCH 1, 2007
By Ashley G. Woodson - Brotha Ash Productions

PART 1 - Command Operations and Protection Services (COPS) presented legendary hip hip artist DMC to Pittsburgh to speak with adopted and foster children at Second Chance on Frankstown Avenue and to perform at the Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum for the "Down With The King Cabaret".

We know about the DMC the artist, but he wants everyone to know Darryl McDaniels, the man who recently found out he was adopted in 2001 at the age of 35, the man who has a new album and a new lease on life. Realizing his purpose and destiny McDaniels decided to make it possible for those less fortunate children without parents to have a life changing experience. McDaniels and his fellow adoptee Sheila Jaffe have started Camp Felix through our Foundation, The Felix Organization to send children without parents to camp.

I had to pleasure of interviewing and hanging out with DMC for two days in a row. First I interviewed him at CJ's in the Strip, Second Chance in Homewood, and The Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum. After the interview we sat in his car (pictured below) and listened to a few tracks from his latest CD.

We also went to Arts across the street from CJ's for diehard fans to take photos and get autographs. It was plain to see from the beginning that DMC was a changed man from the experiences of his adoption. The whole time he was focused on the children of the world and how he could help.

By Ashley G. Woodson, Brotha Ash Productions & The New Pittsburgh Courier

Up until the point he found out he was adopted, everything the world knew about him was all he knew about himself. About ten years ago he woke up one morning wondering why their was a void in his life, but he could not put his finger on it. If he died today, everyone knows about his musical accomplishments being DMC, but not about Darryl McDaniels, the man. "There was a void in my life, so before I die I want to write a book so people can learn about Darryl McDaniels.

I got fed up with being DMC all the time", said McDaniels. When he found out he was adopted, he was an emotional wreck and didn't know anyone else who was adopted at the time. He realized right away that there are billions of other people in the same situation. With his celebrity, he is wants to be the voice for other adopted children. Being a rap pioneer, he wants to inform adopted children that they are not alone.

In 1991, McDaniels had to stop drinking to due pancreatitis. When he was released from the hospital the doctor told him that he had two choices, "You can drink and die or you can live". From the doctor's orders, he chose to stop drinking because he wanted to live. When he find out he was adopted however, he started drinking again because he was devastated.

He holds no grudges against his birth parents and he is grateful that his adopted parents took care of him. "No matter what your situation is you have a purpose and destiny." Sometimes you can not comprehend what it is , but we all have one. If my birth mother never gave me up, my adopted mother would have never came and got me, I would have never met RUN and there would be no DMC", he says graciously.

For a lot of kids in orphanages and foster care, they feel as though their parents threw them away, but McDaniels feels that was a part of the destiny. He explains, "I am fortunate that my adopted parents kepted me because they could have sent me back". He built up courage to finally meet his birth mother three years after finding out he was adopted. When he met his birth mother, it was the first time he had seen people that looked like him.

McDaniels contacted Pamela Slaton, who specializes in adoption search informed McDaniels that he should visit the Harlem Hospital and ask for his records. Upon the hospital visit, McDaniels learned his birth mother's full name and address at the time he was placed. He did not have any identification proving that he was "Darryl Lovelace", but a search on a database revealed a current address for his birth mother on Staten Island.

People are always asking him how he feels dealing with so many tragedies in his life? McDaniels says, "As I share my experience with others it helps me and others". Even if I help one child, I've made a difference. You might know someone who is an alcoholic or adopted. The reason I made my new record called "Just Like Me" is because I am no different than any one else. I am only human". "Just Like Me" also features vocalsl by Sarah McLachlan, whose Grammy-winning album Surfacing had a profound and timely effect on DMC. "During a time when I was in a bad place in my life, I discovered Sarah’s album and listened to it every day, he says. When he met McLachlan at the Grammys and told her that it had deeply affected him, she replied, "That’s what music is supposed to do." When DMC approached McLachlan about performing on the song, not only did she agree to provide the vocal for "Just Like Me," she offered her home studio in Vancouver to record the project. She also appears in the song’s video.