Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide: A Memoir
ISBN 10: 0062368788
ISBN 13: 978-0062368782
ISBN 10: 006236877X
ISBN 13: 978-0062368775
In this surprising and moving memoir, the legendary rap star and cofounder of Run D.M.C. keeps it a hundred percent, speaking out about his battle with depression and overcoming suicidal thoughts—one of the most devastating yet little known health issues plaguing the black community today.
As one third of the legendary rap group Run D.M.C., Darryl “DMC” McDaniels—aka Legendary MC, The Devastating Mic Controller, and the King of Rock—had it all: talent, money, fame, prestige. While hitting #1 on the Billboard charts was exhilarating, the group’s success soon became overwhelming. A creative guy who enjoyed being at home alone or with his family, DMC turned to alcohol to numb himself, a retreat that became an addiction. For years, he went through the motions. But in 1997, when intoxication could no longer keep the pain at bay, he plunged into severe depression and became suicidal. He wasn’t alone. During the same period, suicide became the number three leading cause of death among black people—a health crisis that continues to this day.
In this riveting memoir, DMC speaks openly about his emotional and psychological struggles and the impact on his life, and addresses the many reasons that led him—and thousands of others—to consider suicide. Some of the factors include not being true to who you are, feelings of loneliness, isolation, and alienation, and a lack of understanding and support from friends and family when it’s needed most. He also provides essential information on resources for getting help. Revealing how even the most successful people can suffer from depression, DMC offers inspiration for everyone in pain—information and insight that he hopes can help save other lives.
“It’s a rare peek behind the curtain at a group that made an indelible mark, then faded away.” (Rolling Stone)
“First, DMC transformed music with arch rhymes and hard, skyscraper-sized beats. Now, in Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide, he promises to change the way we look at our lives and mental health with gentle, plainly-spoken language and an utter commitment to honesty. In both instances, his gift to us are his words: Often funny, sometimes bitter, typically sharp, always penetrating. But in Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide, the driving rhythm we hear is the sound of his heart. A must-read.” (Harry Allen, Hip-Hop Activist & Media Assassin)
“I have longed admired DMC. He, his group Run-DMC, are as much of my soul as my own blood relatives. They changed hip-hop, pop culture, young people worldwide-and they made poor kids like me believe in ourselves. But with this memoir DMC has done something far greater: he has stripped away the fame and success and money and legendary status and presents himself as human, raw, naked. Mental health, depression, suicide are not things many are comfortable discussing publicly or privately. But we can’t heal if we can’t talk. And talk DMC does, uncomfortably, transparently, about his own life, in a way that is not only salvation for him, but a model for us all to follow.” (Kevin Powell, author of The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy's Journey into Manhood)
“First, DMC transformed music with arch rhymes and hard, skyscraper-sized beats. Now, in Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide, he promises to change the way we look at our lives and mental health with gentle, plainly-spoken language and an utter commitment to honesty. In both instances, his gift to us are his words: Often funny, sometimes bitter, typically sharp, always penetrating. But in Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide, the driving rhythm we hear is the sound of his heart. A must-read.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“His descent into alcoholism and depression are written with such candor that it feels as though one is reading his personal diary. DMC not only deftly and concisely explains the Run D.M.C. formation and breakup but also intersperses inspirational wisdom for others struggling with difficult life circumstances as well. This important read isn’t ‘just’ a memoir; it is also a self-help book that opens the door for conversations about mental health.” (Library Journal)
“DMC’s must-read memoir ventures into uncharted territory for all musicians, period-not just hip-hop artists. His honesty about his feelings easily makes this book an achievement that ranks alongside his Hall of Fame rhymes.” (Chuck D, Public Enemy)
“Darryl DMC McDaniels is a deeply-talented artist who has much to teach us. I applaud his courage and compassion in sharing his personal story. Ten Ways Not To Commit Suicide is an inspiring read for all audiences.” (Queen Latifah)
From the Back Cover
Darryl DMC McDaniels had it all—talent, money, fame, prestige. But his achievements were shrouded by his private struggles with alcohol and an anxiety fueled by the need to please others. As Run-DMC’s success grew, McDaniels’s relationship with alcohol became a means of escape from a life that had become unbearable. When he was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis, his doctor told him, “You drink, you die”—a crisis that forced the rapper to choose life. In his quest to recover, McDaniels found what he’d been desperate for—love, for his future wife, and, at long last, for himself.
Throughout this riveting account, McDaniels speaks openly about his emotional and psychological struggles, and shares essential information on how to seek help and find meaning during life’s challenging times. An absorbing look at how inner suffering can plague even the most successful individuals, Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide offers inspiration and insight and a path toward the contentment McDaniels himself fought so hard to obtain.