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DMC Runs From 'Crown Royal,' Album Delayed Again

(2/14/01, 3 p.m. ET) -- Once more the release of the long-awaited Run-D.M.C. album has been pushed back. Crown Royal will now be released on April 3. Arista Records, the group's label, provided no explanation for the delay. The group has released the first single from the album, "Rock Show" featuring Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind, and several urban formats have also picked up "It's Over" featuring Jermaine Dupri.

The Crown Royal track list includes: "Them Girls" featuring Fred Durst; "The School Of Old" featuring Kid Rock; "Let's Stay Together" featuring Jagged Edge; "Take The Money And Run" featuring Everlast; "Here We Go 2001" featuring Sugar Ray; "Queen's Day" featuring Nas and Prodigy of Mobb Deep; "Simmons Incorporated" featuring Method Man; and "Crown Royal."

Once the album is released, hardcore fans will be surprised to notice a significant absence of founding member DMC on the record. DMC is only featured on three songs.

Though the album includes some classic hip-hop-styled songs, a heavy portion of the album pursues the hip-hop rock style the group explored with success on "Walk This Way," its 1986 hit with Aerosmith. DMC told LAUNCH that he has lost his desire to be a rapper and even attempted to leave the group.

"In the beginning, I went into Arista and said, 'I cannot be part of this project.' I went to Clive Davis. 'Mr. Davis, this and that.' He tells me the Santana story. Everybody's telling me, 'Think of money, think of your career.' I thought about it. I gotta be happy. The album came out, and it's a beautiful, wonderful album. Now if you want to know why I'm not on certain records, I'll sit here and tell you. That's not what it's about. But an album's not gonna make me happy, trying to get money won't make me happy. What's going to get me money is being happy."

DMC added that he can't out-rhyme Nas, and has no desire to. He's at a different stage in his life.

"Right now, I'm listening to nothing but classic rock. Because if I turn on to rap right now, it's nothing there for me now. But to hear Neil Young say, 'I'll think I'll pack it in and drive down the freeway,' or 'I was just sitting on my porch watching my son run,' I can plug into that. Or 'My wife is driving me crazy,' I could plug into that. I feel like I've been reincarnated from the '60s because Dylan touches me. So with the vocal thing also, I found the platform that I need to go to not make loud music, but to be louder than everybody out there."

DMC does not appear on "It's Over" or "Rock Show."

-- Billy Johnson, Los Angeles and Yves Salomon, New York