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    Another great Derby Festival came to an end on Saturday after American Pharaoh took the lead in the 2-minute race and won the 141st annual Kentucky Derby. After the race, thousands in attendance left Churchill Downs and ventured out into the city to keep the celebration going. And if you were among the small handful of partiers at the Tin Roof after the race, you carried out this year’s Derby Festival with excellent Derby-themed drinks and a once-in-a-lifetime experience with hip hop legend, Run-DMC’s Darryl DMC McDaniels.

    But before his performance that night, I was given the opportunity to chat with the rapper about his motivation as an artist, today’s hip hop, and all things Louisville. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York in the 70’s and 80’s, you were given the chance to witness the hip hop movement up close. What can you tell younger generations about that movement and what motivated you to become a part of it?

    DMC: “The era was no different from how it is today. You had a lot of racial tension, poverty, crime, and a lack of support for education. We had 50 gangs we had to worry about. We didn’t have the technology kids have today, we had nothing to do and we lived in a world where all odds were against us. With that being said, it was the young generation of that time that had all of the potential to change the world but we weren’t show that in the media. Hip hop came about and changed that and allowed us to share knowledge.” What do you think about the hip hop that is being produced today?

    DMC: “I get asked this question all the time and I can’t really critique anyone else’s work. But if you ask me what hip hop is today, I’d say that it’s disco. Bentleys, Rolls Royces, and champagne are all things you only see in the media. The music is very bright like disco, but it’s hard to actually relate to it.” You’re performing at such a small, intimate venue on Louisville’s biggest night of the year. Are small venues where you prefer to perform, and is this something we can look forward to again in the future?

    DMC: “I performed at the Tin Roof in San Diego last year and they asked if I’d be interested in performing at their other locations around the country. And I do the Barnstable Brown Party every year to raise money for cancer and Diabetes research, which are both very personal to me because my father suffered from both. So when Tin Roof heard I was going to be here for that, they asked if I’d be interested in performing a show too.” Do you have a horse picked for the big race?

    DMC: “I don’t know anything about horse racing, really. The last time I bet was in 1988 and Run told me I should put money on a horse, so I put a dollar on the worst horse in the race and my horse actually ended up leading the entire race so I won $25. But now I just like to go and watch every one else bet on horses, that’s enough entertainment for me.”

    DMC went onstage at 10pm at the Tin Roof on Saturday and performed an impressive list of some of Run-DMC’s greatest hits, including crowd favorites like Walk This Way and It’s Tricky. And even as a solo artist, he’s still got it.

    For more information on Run-DMC and upcoming shows, visit their website. And visit the Tin Roof’s website for a list of upcoming shows at this venue.  

    Carly Garcia's picture

    About Carly Garcia

    Lover of vegetarian cuisine, Stephen King, puppies, camping and wine...lots of wine.

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