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Run-DMC Feared 'Walk This Way' Aerosmith Cover Would 'Ruin' Career and Hip-Hop Fans Would 'Hate' It (Exclusive)

'Kings From Queens: The Run DMC Story' is available to stream on Peacock now

Kevin Winter/Getty Rev Run, Steven Tyler and DMC
Kevin Winter/Getty Rev Run, Steven Tyler and DMC

When Rick Rubin came to Run-DMC with an idea to recreate Aerosmith's "Walk This Way," the hip-hop trio thought it would be disaster.

Speaking to PEOPLE about the newly released three-part docuseries, Kings From Queens: The Run DMC Story, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels opened up about the risky opportunity that took the trio to new heights.

"It was at a time when nobody was branching out of their lane," DMC, 59, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "So when we first did 'Walk This Way,' the perception was everybody in hip-hop is going to hate this because people are scared to do something new."

He adds, "People are scared to get uncomfortable. People are scared to work and think outside of the box because they're comfortable in that position."

<p>Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage</p> Steven Tyler, Rev Run, Jam Master Jay and Joe Perry at the House of Blues

Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

Steven Tyler, Rev Run, Jam Master Jay and Joe Perry at the House of Blues

Related: Aerosmith Reveal How They Made '80s Mega-Hit 'Walk This Way' with Run-DMC

When DMC, Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons and the late Jam Master Jay were first presented the idea, they "didn't want to do it."

"Yo, that ain't hip-hop," he recalls telling Rubin. "We thought it was going to ruin our careers."

"Our thing was, 'Ain't nobody going to like this. All the people that like hip-hop is going to be mad at us.' We had no idea that everybody from Red Alert to Grandmaster Flash would say, 'Yo, that's the coolest thing,'" he says. "We didn't know that the Black people was going to love it."

<p>Bob Berg/Getty Images</p> Run-DMC in Los Angeles in May 1999

Bob Berg/Getty Images

Run-DMC in Los Angeles in May 1999

The track ended up bringing hip-hop and rock and roll fans together, tapping into new audiences for both groups.

"When I speak to young kids, I tell them this, 'Always be open to try something different because not only will it change your life, it could change the world,'" he says. "And that's exactly what the 'Walk This Way' record did."

Adding, "So the very thing that we thought was going to ruin us turned out to be something that improved us."

Related: The Biggest Revelations from Run-DMC's Docuseries Kings From Queens — Including Writing 'My Adidas' on 'Angel Dust'

Run-DMC released "Walk This Way" in 1986 and the record went on to sell millions of copies.

At the time, Aerosmith had just gotten back together from a split in the early '80s and Run-DMC was one of the top-selling rap acts. When Rubin gave Aerosmith the call, they eventually came to a "yes," with Steven Tyler saying, “Just don’t make fools of us.”

“It wound up being so magical,” Tyler told PEOPLE in 2020. “Then [the director] Jon Small, who gets little to no credit, came up to me and said, ‘I got a really good idea for this. Why don’t we put Run-DMC on one side, Aerosmith on the other side, and there’ll be a wall, and we’ll cut out a piece in the wall.’ The whole idea was to show that rock and roll and rap could live together. It was a giant step outside anybody’s mind at MTV. That video was the whole thing. For us to be involved in that was just a miracle. It was without a doubt the second step of our career.”

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Read the original article on People.