Run-DMC were one of hip-hop’s most beloved crews. Rising to prominence in the 1980s alongside crews such as Public Enemy and The Beastie Boys, Run-DMC were loved for their ability to fuse hip-hop with other genres and were ultimately responsible for crossing hip-hop into the mainstream.
However, although many know them as the supergroup cultivated by Def Jam under Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, few know that the trio were considering leaving Def Jam to sign with the now-infamous Death Row Records.
During an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast with Noreaga and DJ EFN, DMC (real name Daryl McDaniels) recalled when he attended a meeting with Knight. Opening up about the rendezvous, McDaniels remembered, “Suge Knight was gonna put Run-DMC on Death Row Records. We had a big meeting at Beverly Hills [Hotel]. This was before the downfall of the label.“
He continued, “We sat there with him, and he said, ‘I’m gonna buy you off Arista. You’re Run-DMC, y’all mean a lot to this culture.’ Suge Knight had right intentions… He used to just show up and come and sit down… He said, ‘We were just so amazed when y’all cats came from New York; we were so amazed to see how y’all just stuck together.'”
McDaniels insisted that Knight was trying to make Run-DMC his prized possession, explaining, “He said he was gonna bring us to Death Row because ‘We at the top right now, and y’all should be at the top,’ I think Suge wanted to have Run-DMC as the holy grail.” He went on to explain that Suge probably wanted Run-DMC on the roster to showcase the label’s prowess at the time. However, they ended up declining the offer.
However, DMC did unveil that the trio were supposed to be in the car with 2Pac the night he was murdered. According to McDaniels, Run-DMC were booked to perform at Mike Tyson’s afterparty at Club 662, and this is where Knight and Shakur were heading to in the car.
Addressing how they turned down a ride from Knight, DMC explained, “So, we get a call, it’s Suge, he said, ‘Yo, I’m coming to get y’all. We want y’all to ride to the club with us.'” However, Jam Master Jay’s failure to decide on an outfit caused them to travel in their own car.
You can hear DMC’s stories from the Drink Champs podcast below.