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Joseph “Reverend Run” Simmons

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Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons is a pioneering musician, an accomplished author, a fashion mogul, and the star of MTV’s hit reality television show “Run’s House.” Beginning his career as one of the 3 members of the rap phenomenon known as “Run DMC,” Joseph Simmons and his pioneering rap group are often attributed to putting hip hop on the musical map. Run DMC’s collaboration with Aerosmith on the infamous track “Walk This Way,” gave birth to a fusion of rap and hip-hop that has since inspired an entirely new wave of music. If hip-hop had a godfather, that man would likely be Reverend Run.

With his trademark Adidas kicks, black sweat-suits, and gold chains, Joseph Simmons became far more than a rapper, an MC, or a lyricist. Moreover he has etched himself into the public as an international icon. His flair for fashion carried over into future ventures, where now he stands as the namesake behind Run Athletics, and has put out the wildly successful icon shoe. Teaming up with his brother Russell, CEO of Phat Farm, Joseph Simmons has continued to remain a key player in the apparel industry.

With the presence of God in his life, Joseph Simmons has become a man of faith and an inspiration for his and his children’s generations. The man once known as the super-star rapper called “Run” found a further, deeper calling as a member of Zoe Ministries. He re-emerged to the world as “Reverend Run” and has since shared his ministry with thousands of fans, both old and new. His book, “Words of Wisdom” which was released in 2006, shares his witty, thoughtful, and inspirational views with the world.One quote from this popular publication reads “ Your talents are a gift from God for you to share with others. We are here to serve each other. No more, no less.” His words ring true, particularly as a reflection of his own life and accomplishments.

Never straying too far from his musical roots, rev Run released his solo album “Distortion” in 2005. However, it should be noted that samples of Run DMC’s plethora of hits were- and continue to be- heard on radios worldwide, as new artists find ways to incorporate that tried and true old school sound into their new tracks. In January of 2008 Joseph Simmons is embarking on a national tour with his friend and collaborator Kid Rock. This is his first tour in quite some time, and Rev Run is eagerly anticipating performing again for the masses.

What Rev Run is most famous for this day and age, is for being America’s favorite father, as he and his family broadcast their reality show “Runs House” on MTV. It is for this notoriety that Joseph Simmons is most proud. As a devoted husband and loving father to six beautiful children, he has really found his bliss. Using the media of television, he is able to send out a message to fans and disciples that family is what life is really about. With laughter, patience, honesty, and love Joseph and his wife Justine give their viewers a glimpse of their lives, while also setting a positive example as to how to maintain a happy and healthy family. Due to the success of the show, Joseph and Justine signed a colossal deal to release a book in 2008 entitled “Take Back Your Family” which will put on paper their tips for successful parenting. In 2008 Joseph and Justine welcomed the addition of their beautiful daughter Miley. Miley’s adoption has brought the Simmons family more joy then they had even imagined possible. Baby Miley is sure to make an appearance in Season 5 of Run’s House, which is set to go into production in the spring of 2008.

Reverend Run looks forward to continuing to touch people worldwide through his written works, music, fashion, and television endeavors. Joseph Simmons, the young man from Hollis, Queens with big dreams and even bigger drive and talent, has made his mark on the world as one of the most influential men in American pop culture. For this, he is grateful and blessed.

Campus Wisdom

Rev Run Shares Wisdom on Hip Hop, Family, and Leadership

Students filled Dodd’s Theater Tuesday, Nov. 12, for what might have been the most anticipated event this semester yet. Individuals from all over campus poured into seats with the hopes of embracing some knowledge and wisdom from one of the most legendary players in Hip-Hop history, Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons of the iconic Run-DMC.

Photo Provided by Matt Carroll

Photo Provided by Matt Carroll

Rev began like any other, growing up in the neighborhood of Hollis, Queens, trying not to fall to the temptations of violence and drugs that were prevalent at the time. It was through music that he made his mark with Darryl “DMC” Daniels and the late Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, skyrocketing through the charts with hits such as “It’s Like That” and “My Adidas.”

Since getting his start with Run DMC, Rev found God, became an ordained Pentecostal minister, and opened his home up for all to see in the hit TV show, Run’s House.

Over the years he has used his celebrity status to give back in any way he can, as well as write for several publications such as “Take Back Your Family: A Challenge to America’s Parents,” co-written with his wife Justine Simmons. Having so many life experiences, the audience was eager to listen as Rev told stories and gave advice on how he has become both a leader and role model for so many.

The discussion began talking about leadership and what qualities make up a good leader; humility was the top trait. “Nobody wants to follow a know-it-all,” he said, explaining that being a leader means being humble, being responsible and being able to apologize when you’re wrong. It’s then, and only then, that you’ll be able to get people to follow you, which is one of the first characteristic signs of a leader.

When looking back at his role models he instantly chose his father and older brother, Russell Simmons of Def Jam record notoriety. He cited family as the first place a person goes to for inspiration and leadership, as well as the belief that the lack of leadership within the home is the key component in young kids getting involved in gangs. He also noted that at the height of Run DMC, he began to turn to God and the church for guidance to fill an empty void within himself.

“The things I thought would make me happy didn’t. They made me empty,” Rev shared about his success with Run DMC. “My top was in fact my bottom.”

One of the most compelling stories of the night came from this topic of fame and his choice to follow his faith, remembering one night in a presidential suite in LA, “This collar became wrapped around my neck getting to that number one spot. I was in the tub, smoking weed, eating French toast. Ashes were falling in the tub, syrup was dripping into the tub, I had a beautiful girl waiting at the door, a guy with the keys to a Rolls Royce at the door, Rolling Stone was at the door ready to interview me….and I just broke down. I didn’t own all this stuff, it owned me.”

Family was also a prevalent topic throughout the evening. It started with his parents.

“I didn’t have the bullying type of parents,” he answered when asked if his parents encouraged or discouraged his pursuit of the rap industry. “I never felt judged for my choices.” It was their presence and support that helped him make big moves and follow his dreams.

His brother, Russell, has also been a very big part of his success. The two of them have worked on many projects throughout the years. He explained their partnership as Rev the entertainer and Russell the business man. Their relationship depends on the special gifts and talents God individually gave each of them and it really is all about complimenting each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Simply put, “When we get together, it works.”

Of course the discussion couldn’t go without a little chat about the hit show, Run’s House, and his family. He works in his household to keep balance amongst his family members, in the hopes that nobody becomes too overbooked or too crazy.

He tries his best not to run around much himself, because it is that balance that keeps him from running his body down. Of all the members of his family, it’s his wife’s ambitions that usually go too far.

“It is definitely possible for women to become too ambitious to find a mate,” Rev warned the ladies of the crowd, “Being ambitious is in no way a bad thing, but it can be very intimidating.”

Of course, having one of the hip-hop greats in the room, it was an obvious topic of conversation to ask what Rev felt about the current state of hip hop. Contrary to what most would think…he actually loves it! Among his favorites in the business right now are Drake, Jay Z and Kanye West.

“It’s weird to some people that I love the direction hip hop is going in, but I love it. People expect me to like stuff like Kendrick Lamar, because he feels old school, and he is great, but I’m all about the new bright stuff.”

J Cole was also brought up for the feud between Cole and son Diggy Simmons, “He’s a good artist but he went the wrong route coming at my family. He’s not even a battle rapper, more of an entertainer. Diggy got back at him definitely.”

Throughout the evening, Rev sprinkled in little bits of awe inspiring wisdom that motivated crowd. Most of it was about not letting material possessions get to you in life, “Don’t let your heart’s desire become a heart disease,” as well as, “find what you love, the money will follow.”

The idea of being an individual, as well as doing what you love, was also stressed. “What you’re fascinated by, becomes fastened to you. That’s why I don’t watch horror movies,” he explained, “I don’t want that fear in my life, so I skip over the scary channels.”

He says that his favorite quote is, “Do your best, and forget the rest,” because it is inspiring, while keeping people in check at the same time. Looking at others gaining success can be hard sometimes, but God can come in and show your purpose. When looking into the music industry, Rev offers simple advice; be an intern and then work harder than the paid employees. “Work so hard, that if you were absent one day the whole company would fall apart. Become necessary. Nobody can vulture you out of your talent.”

Rev and his family’s show, Rev Run’s Renovation, will air Jan.4 on HGTV, and features the house seen on Run’s House getting a top-to-bottom makeover.

 

 

 

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Run DMC DJ Headphones  |  $70.00

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Rock the block with these exclusive RUN DMC DJ Headphones. With a comfortable, padded over-ear design, inline volume control and 1/8″ connection, you’ll be ready to rock a rhyme on time.

Summer Playlist

Mixtape Festival’s 2013 Summer Playlist: Rev Run + DJ Ruckus’s Picks

Manology

Rev Run and Tyrese’s new book, Manology: Secrets of Your Man’s Mind Revealed.


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BY THE NUMBERS

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#10

JMJ was listed #10 on Spin’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time

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My Adidas

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BY THE NUMBERS

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1984

Run DMC was the first Rap act to appear on MTV, with the video for “Rock Box.”

BY THE NUMBERS

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2008

Gotham Press publishes Rev Run’s book, “Take Back Your Family: A Challenge to America’s Parents.”

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Run DMC Comeback

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