Since the eighties, Joey Simmons has been best known as Run, one third of Adidas-and-fedora-wearing rap pioneers Run-DMC. Now he’s an ordained reverend, living in New Jersey with his wife and five kids, and the star of Run’s House, a new reality show on MTV. Rebecca Milzoff talked to the Reverend about Kenny G and building a church on MTV.
What’s the most notable difference between Run’s house and a regular house?
Run’s house has an indoor basketball court, a movie theater, a studio, a pool, and a Rolls-Royce sitting out front. But the other stuff that goes on?
I’m just bein’ a daddy, Mommy’s just bein’ a mommy.
What’s the No. 1 rule in your house?
I’m a stickler for order. We have an episode where I’m cleaning out the pool house, and my wife is screaming, “Don’t throw my Oprah magazines away!” And I’m like, “It’s the same picture on every cover! You’ll be fine!”
Is that the kind of thing we’ll see on the show?
Run’s House is me trying to hold it together. It’s like The Osbournes without the profanity. You gotta understand: You got a reverend. Who’s a rapper. On MTV.
How did Run become a reverend?
I started going to church and became an usher. I went from that to a deacon, then a minister, then an ordained father. I’m a very intense person. As hard as I went out and rapped, when I’m in church, I’m gonna church it that good.
You’ve said your family is your ministry.
I believe that as I’m on MTV, raising my family, people will become inspired to do it like I’m doing it. My show is the church.
On the show, you compose a “word of wisdom” every morning in your bathtub. How did that get started?
I had approached Hot 97 and said, “I want to give a word of wisdom every day.” Then I sent it out to friends. Now Kid Rock wants the word, and Lil Jon. Diddy loves it. I write it in the bathtub because that’s my place to pray. In the morning, when everybody’s asleep, my spirit is quieted.
Do you still perform as Run-DMC?
I retired Run-DMC ’cause I wanted to give respect to Jay. You can’t replace [deceased D.J. Jam Master] Jay, like he’s a drummer.
So what’s your new album like?
It’s Raising Hell with a little Tougher Than Leather sauce, and some Beastie-ish Rick Rubin sauce, spread out on a bed of lettuce. With an eighties vibe.
What music do you listen to?
CD101.9, Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole Christmas songs. Anything soothing, with that, you know, “fairy taaales can come truuue.” And Kenny G.
You like Kenny G?
Love, not like. I could play it all day.