Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC Speaks at Penn State on Mental Health and Suicide Awareness

Story posted November 3, 2019 in CommRadio, News by Michael Sneff

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State got tricky Tuesday night when Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC, one of the most influential hip-hop groups of all time, gave a talk to Penn State students in the Thomas Building.

McDaniels held a discussion not about his success in the entertainment world but instead about his lifelong struggles with mental health and suicidal thoughts.

The forum was hosted by the Smeal College of Business’ Office of Diversity Enhancement Programs, as well as many other Penn State colleges.

McDaniels spoke to students about how making it in the hip-hop world destroyed his mental health, driving him to alcoholism and a suicide attempt before going to therapy and rehab.

He said that students are the lifeblood of this world and that they have the potential to do anything they want.

“What I represent to you all is what happens when you take advantage of every educational, artistic [and] creative opportunity that comes your way,” McDaniels said. “That is the thing that will not only change your life, but it will change the world.”

Justin Walker, a freshman undergraduate studies major focusing on business, said he came to the event because of Run-DMC’s impact on culture.

“I felt like he was very revolutionary in our culture in the ‘80s and ‘90s,” Walker said.

Jared Walker, also a freshman undergraduate studies and business major, came for similar reasons.

“I really admire DMC, they did a lot for our culture as our parents were growing up,” Walker said. “I think this is one of the coolest events to attend.”

McDaniels echoed his sentiments in that you’re never alone in what you’re going through, and that it’s OK to not be OK.

“The biggest message in what I said, we all have a responsibility to care about each other,” McDaniels said.


Michael Sneff is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email mbs5797@psu.edu.