DMC featuring Sarah McLachlan - Just Like Me (2005)
There’s something innately hilarious about this pairing - Daryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run DMC crash lands in VH1ville with a rap song featuring Sarah McLachlan singing the chorus to “Cats in the Cradle,” the Harry Chapin wimp radio classic famously covered in my high school days by Ugly Kid Joe. Some pedigree.
And it’s impossible to make fun of, too, because “Just Like Me” is an ode to the trials and joys and identity crises of adoption. I guess it makes sense, though. This DMC song sprung from the loins of two white parents - Chapin and McLachlan. Adoption is the only explanation.
Add in some generic Rick Rubin-esque hard rock guitar chords and DMC’s “whoo!” cries during the chorus, and this never stands a chance of cracking even B-level. A lot of DMC’s prose and delivery is clunky, too, but you can’t deny the sheer amount of emotion behind the project. DMC didn’t find out he was adopted until right after the Jam Master Jay shooting, so this is a relatively fresh compound wound.
The video is nothing special - we see the 1964 flashback scene of DMC being born in the hospital, present self watching his newborn self get snatched from the arms of a teenage mother. There’s a sparse, heaven-looking white set, an empty performance theater set and a long orphanage bedroom with a stained-glass backdrop.
McLachlan wanders the entire thing looking like a drugged-up earth mother. Eventually, there’s a lineup of kids singing along, and the closing shot has DMC singing with his own son - who’s dressed like the 1986 incarnation of his dad. Cheeseball, but worth a glance.