Run-D.M.C. Regret Missing Out on Michael Jackson Collaboration
In a recent interview, Run D.M.C.’s Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels revealed that he and his bandmates once had an opportunity to collaborate with Michael Jackson, but a team-up between the King of Pop and the guys who rapped “King of Rock” never got off the ground.
“People probably don’t know this, but Run-D.M.C. was going to make us a record with Michael Jackson,” McDaniels revealed on Sirius XM’s VOLUME West (via Yahoo! Entertainment). “And if you ask me the reason why it never happened, the joke is Run-D.M.C. was too busy to make a record with Michael.”
McDaniels told hosts Chad Smith (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Lyndsey Parker that Jackson approached them in 1986, just as their classic LP Raising Hell was catching fire and crossing genres.
“Raising Hell was killing,” he recalled. “‘My Adidas’ had us running around, getting the endorsement deal; and [the Aerosmith collaboration] ‘Walk This Way’ just took us to another stratosphere. But the two times that we met with Michael, we sat down and we talked.”
Listen to Run-D.M.C. Perform "Raising Hell"
The meetings involved little more than breaking bread — one, documented in a Rolling Stone story on the band (in which they initially balked at collaborating with Jackson) involved a soul food dinner and conversation that left them in a more positive frame of mind.
“Michael kept asking me about rap,” McDaniels’ partner in rhyme Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons said at the time. “I asked him about record sales. And when the fried chicken came, I knew he was cool.”
McDaniels recalled the second meal with Jackson, who brought along a special guest.
“I even got to meet [Jackson’s pet chimpanzee] Bubbles,” he told the VOLUME West hosts. “Yeah, I was hanging out with Bubbles; he was running around; he had on overalls. ... And Michael Jackson was just talking about, ‘Yo, we gon’ make this record,’ this and that.
“But every time we was ready, [Jackson] was like, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I’m in Europe,’” McDaniels continues. “And then when Michael was ready, we’d be like, ‘Yo Mike, we in Japan now.’ Bless his soul, we never got to record with him.”
Run-D.M.C. got some great news earlier this year, when Raising Hell was added to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry.