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Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide: A Memoir

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  191 ratings  ·  40 reviews
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
Hardcover, 225 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Amistad
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Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Good but not great memoir by rap legend Darryl "DMC" McDaniels. I'm not a fan of Run-DMC or really any '80's rap, so I didn't know a whole lot about DMC. The title is what made me pick up the book and DMC really did spend about 20 years trying to commit suicide slowly. He tried to drink himself literally to death before making an actual suicide attempt. I myself have never suffered from depression (thank God) or thought of killing myself but I come from a family in which severe depression is ...more
Aug 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Now this is an honest man. He's come a looong way. These were the original rappers before the "elite" took over to turn it into gangsta rap as soon as certain artists began creating uplifting music for African-Americans. Personally, I believe the powers that be couldn't chance that and made a plan to wreck it for rap. I was born in 1980 so this music was exciting and new for us in New York especially since we got the mixed tapes from the City feeling like the "big Kids" aka teenagers.

We as
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a very quick one sitting read. I think it is grossly mis-titled, because there is no lists of ten anything. The title leads you to believe that DMC will give those who are in a state of depression, 10 ways to fight that condition and turn things around. We get an intimate look at the battle that he has waged against depression and how therapy and some tapping the power within has helped him.
The book is more memoir than self help, and that's ok. As a fan of RUN-DMC, I was surprised to see
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
This rating is purely based from personal bias.

I learned of DMC's adoption story back when it aired on vh1 in 2006, a year after my own biological mother wanted to resume contact with me since I had recently turned of legal age. Although his and my story vary greatly, the fact that there was high-profile person sharing their adoption story - when, up until then, I certainly was not aware of any celebrities who were adopted, certainly none who shared their story in such a way - stuck with me,
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An honest telling of Darryl McDaniels' life. I agree with his ten ways, as I have used those same ways myself to keep living.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
DMC is part of a rap group that is one of the most memorable of my childhood. To know that he was in so much pain at the height of his career when he should have been enjoying the glitter and glamour of fame, just goes to show you that money and fame don't buy happiness.

The most valuable lesson he offers in his memoir is this: when you aren't true to who you are and allow yourself to live out the expectations others have for you, eventually who you are demands to be set free.

Darryl McDaniels
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
This was a pretty good read! I finished it in one day. Run-DMC was way before my time, so my knowledge of the group is pretty much non-existent. All I knew about the group was that Rev Run (father of Diggy, Russ, Vanessa, and Angela Simmons) had a reality show where he somehow found a way to always be in the damn bath tub, Russell Simmons has something to do with the group, and Jam Master Jay was mysteriously killed. Sure, I knew the hits, but not the story behind them.

When I saw the title of
I won this book (sort of a surprise to me as I hadn't one any Goodreads giveaways in almost 7 months), and I was pretty excited to read it. It was a fairly simple memoir, however I found the repetition DMC used to be quite irritating. Other than that, I feel like he was pretty open and honest about his life, his problems and alcohol addiction. It's unfortunate that sometimes it takes years of life or a very traumatic experience for us humans to realize we need help, or that we have an addiction. ...more
Jodie King
Aug 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting read. Would never have guessed that he was depressed when he was on top of his game.
Also interesting to read about what Hollis was like back in the day.
C.J. Bunce
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally published online at

Darryl McDaniels–he’s the DMC of the trio Run DMC, known for its team-up with Aerosmith on the band’s cover of “Walk this Way,” plus hits like “Tricky” and more. He’s the King of Rock, sold 30 million albums, made rap and hip-hop the popular music genre it is today, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But he doesn’t count any of those things as his most important personal accomplishment. In his memoir, Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide–A
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
One third of hip hop's most legendary acts, Run DMC, Darryl McDaniels opens up with sometimes brutal honesty and intensity about the battles with addiction and depression that dogged him for most of his life. It's a quick, bracing read without too much of the usual celebrity tell-all salaciousness despite the subject. The object here is to offer a voice of compassion, survival and hope to anyone struggling to figure out who they are. McDaniels recounts how despite being one of the most ...more
Roni Blanche
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
DMC has definitely had a wild ride in life. From reading his memoir, it's amazing he's still alive, but I'm glad he is and chose to share his experiences. I have bouts with depression myself --I call it the black funk and it visits me often -- and am always looking for insights into how other people cope. DMC got damn lucky with a lot of the breaks he had that kept him going and saved his life, but he also did a lot of work to heal his wounds and create the life he wanted. His journey opened my ...more
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was stunningly easy to relate to. I thought he did a great job of describing depression.

I've never been a real fan of Run-DMC, other than a few of their songs. I didn't know most of those he mentioned. He's the DMC part of the group. Still, what he went through was something I could understand and relate to. So much of what he said that he did sounded a lot like me. Even if I didn't fall into the drinking and drugs.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Come for the highlights, such as:
The doctor's reaction to hearing just how many 40s a day DMC was drinking.
DMC's overwhelmed fanboying upon meeting Sarah McLachlan.
His wife being completely 'eh, okay' about RunDMC in general.

Stay for a brave, unapologetic story of long-term suicidal depression, alcoholism, self-repression and low self-esteem, vulnerability, therapy, fatherhood, connection with others, and learning overall to value oneself.
R.J. Vaccarelli
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Darryl McDAniels (DMC of Run-DMC fame) tells a very open account of his battle with depression, thoughts of suicide, and drug and alcohol addiction. It was surprising to hear how the song Angel helped him turn things around. Anyhow, he has turned his life around. Nice story, I learned a lot about him. OK book.
Scott Orts
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Started off slow and was a bit hard to follow as far as a timeline. He arranged it by life events, his marriage, rehab, alcoholism and birth mother etc. He read the audio book so I was able to get a feel for his passion for his projects.... much of the last part of the book was about how he dealt with his problems and I took away some self help type advice. Very interesting background.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Audiobook. Glad he read it himself. The first chapter was the best, most integrated with the title.

It meandered down some paths and would come back. So it would go from personal to reflective and distant. Sprinkled with random facts about social issues.

5 stars for honesty.
3 stars because of story structure.
Dustin Griffin
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Very honest, soul baring memoir. Not what I thought it would be exactly. Equal parts addiction memoir, self help book, DJ Run hate fest, “Angel” by Sarah Mclachlan love letter, with a little Run DMC history thrown into the mix. Not bad. I hope DMC is able to stay clean.
Michele Ann
This is a great book for people to read so they don't feel alone with their thoughts. DMC shares his struggles with his personal life and how certain things have impacted him. The title may not be the best for this book because it isn't exactly broken down into lessons or coping strategies.
Jackson Matthews
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring and hopeful
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
“It’s tricky to keep one eye in front of you and one eye on where you’ve come from, but I’ve always believed that it is essential to have a certain moral balance.”
Mar 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
Very disappointed in this book. Don't read it if you are looking for actual insight or advice.
Matthew Fornaciari
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
A quick read and entertaining enough if you were ever into Run DMC
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This book needs to be listened to on audiobook. Darryl reading his story makes it more raw than just reading it on the pages.
Eric Piotrowski
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hip-hop, memoir, biography
A superb read from one of my idols. Run-DMC was the soundtrack of my childhood. I wanted to be the kid in the "Rock Box" video so bad. I wanted to show up at a concert and have the group realize how I knew all the lyrics and then they'd invite me on stage and I'd tour with them for months. Well, I finally got to meet DMC when he came to town promoting this book. He gave a fantastic talk to an audience that was painfully small, but he didn't even mind. He gave 100% to the 30 of us in that room.

Aug 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Darryl McDaniels - you may know him from the legendary group Run DMC. In this memoir, Darryl talks about his depression and alcoholism and life on the other side.

To be honest I didn't like this book. Of course everyone has their own story and they tell it however they want. So it makes it hard to really say that I just didn't like someone's memoir. There were a few parts that were nice to read - such as his relationship with his wife, the moments where he spoke of his parents (particularly his
Mike Ely
This was a really interesting book. It provides a very insightful behind the scenes look at DMC's life, particular his demons instead of his successes. It's a message that we haven't heard through his career, and one that we don't hear from many artists, especially in today's crafted image media, particularly social media. DMC delves into his emotions and really provides the reader with a very open look at what struggles happened in his personal life, at the same time that the public saw Run-DMC ...more
Oct 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I didn't really grew up with Run-DMC so maybe that's why i gave this book such a low rating.
A lot of the things he talked about were a bit repetitive or the story flips from one to the next.
It was refreshing to read how much the song Angel impacted and changed his life. I had no idea he was so depressed at the prime of his life. I could relate and feel Darryl's sadness and despair when he was talking about suicidal thoughts and just how depressed he was. Wearing a mask is so much easier than
Sep 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
DMC delves into his struggles with depression, alcoholism, and feeling suicidal, which is admirable and brave given the stigma and silence around those topics, and the pressures for men, and men in hip-hop, to act like they're immune to emotional struggles. the book was a bit hard for me to follow because it's organized by topic rather than linearly by time. but i did learn from it. my favorite line was "coping with an issue isn't the same thing as addressing an issue." and i loved his ...more
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Darryl "D.M.C." Matthews McDaniels is a musician, rapper and producer. He is a founding member of the hip hop group Run–D.M.C and is known as a pioneer in the genre.
“If you draw, if you dance, if you like poetry, if you like spoken word, whatever, if you like polka dots—use who you are, who you really are, as a positive. That’s your superpower. Wendy” 2 likes
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