Hip-Hop Icon, DMC, Inspires Teens To Strive To Pursue Their Passions

PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. (CBS) — For Darryl McDaniels, better known as D.M.C., his message has always been in the music. The 52-year-old rapper spent Thursday in New Jersey, before performing in an Atlantic City beach concert Thursday night.

This message, needed no lyrical lines or bass beats.

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He considers himself the King of Hip-Hop, but his message to Pleasantville High School was about more than just music. It was about resilience and the power of education.

“Whatever community they’re from, whatever their situation is – homeless, foster care, adopted – whether they live with their mother, don’t have a father, their situations don’t define who they are,” McDaniels said.

That message resonated with dozens of middle school and high school students. “It was very motivating. He made me think about my life and I want to change it,” said Junior Rafael Ortiz.

D.M.C. told students he found a purpose after battling alcoholism and depression and other students say that honesty ignited their own passions.

“I can do anything now. I feel so inspired,” said Senior Aleesha Willet.

Whether through music, or through motivational speeches, D.M.C. wants these teens to know one thing.

“No one can decide your destiny, except you.”

“There’s a lot of gun violence. All the stuff going on in the country. There’s still good things and I think this today is an indication,” said Pleasantville Mayor Jesse Tweedle.

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