How did Run–D.M.C. get their name?

The three members of Run-D.M.C. grew up in Hollis, Queens. As a teenager, Simmons was recruited into hip-hop by his older brother, Russell, who was then an up-and-coming hip-hop promoter. Simmons appeared onstage as a DJ for rapper Kurtis Blow, who was managed by Russell. Known as "DJ Run, Son of Kurtis Blow", Simmons soon began performing with Kurtis Blow. Previously, McDaniels had been more focused on athletics than music, but soon began to DJ after purchasing a set of turntables. Simmons convinced McDaniels to start rapping, and he soon began writing rhymes and was known as "Easy D."

Simmons and McDaniels started hanging around Two-Fifths Park in Hollis in late 1970's, hoping to rap for the local DJs who performed and competed there, and the most popular one known to frequent the park was Mizell, then known as "Jazzy Jase". Eventually, Simmons and McDaniels rapped in front of Mizell at the park, and the three became friends. Following Russell's success managing Kurtis Blow, he helped Run record his first single, a song called "Street Kid." The song went unnoticed, but despite the single's failure, Run's enthusiasm for hip-hop was growing. Simmons soon wanted to record again—-this time with McDaniels, but Russell refused, citing a dislike for D's rhyming style. After they completed high school and started college in 1982, Simmons and McDaniels finally convinced Russell to let them record as a duo, and they recruited Mizell (who now called himself Jam-Master Jay) to be their official DJ. A year later, in 1983, Russell agreed to help them record a new single and land a record deal, but only after he changed McDaniels' stage name to 'DMC' and marketed the group as "Run-D.M.C.", a name which, incidentally, the group hated at first.