Reverend Run / Run DMC
Silent Uproar: Hey man, this is Scott with Silent Uproar.
Run: Hi, this is Reverend Run, that’s my name.
SU: I hope so, because that is who I am supposed to be talking to today.
Run: That’s him, that’s me, that’s them, Scott and Run.
SU: You have been making music for a long time and obviously you and Run DMC hasve an amazing legacy as being a pioneering rap group. With all that under your belt already, why tackle a solo album now?
Run: Fun. Challenge. Life. That’s why you do it, because I’m still here. I’m still here, I’m still here…fun.
SU: Had these songs been in your head for a while or did you write a good portion of the record once you wet into the studio?
Run: I feel like they were just stuck in me and God helped me to pull them out.
SU: Many successful rap artists these days seem to stack their albums with tons of guest appearances. Want made you chose to avoid that for the most part?
Run: I think I am good enough to do it by myself, I tackled it alone.
SU: I know you have been a religious man for some time now, but how did that transformation affect your music?
Run: It made me strong enough o say I could do an album again. It gave me encouragement. God, the Holly Ghost, came to me and helped me write the record, so it has been a phenomenal run over these 10 records.
SU: In terms of the lyrics, do you think there is an obvious difference between what you were writing 10 years ago and what you are writing now?
Run: It feels more like the beginning. It does feel different than Crown Royal and the stuff where I was trying to figure out what to do. This was just do what you know how to do and don’t ask nobody no questions, you don’t need any help from any producers.
SU: Rap music today is a lot about violence and sex, did you take a different approach on Distortion?
Run: I just do what Run does. I don’t really get into taking advice from any new rap records, so it is hard for me to say anything about what is going on now. I did take a note to something which was very pop that happened and that was Kanye West’s 10 Grammy nods for “Jesus Walks” and a bunch of other conscious records that I thought were phenomenal.
SU: What led to the decision to use a fairly unknown producer?
Run: This way I knew I could control the temperament of the album and could just do what happens. To kinda have him help me and not get into ego.
SU: So do you think another solo album is down the road for you?
Run: Pretty sure, I’m working on it already.
SU: And will you take the same approach as to who you work with, etc?
Run: Same approach, same exact approach. God willing, it will work out.
SU: Did you find it easier or harder to make this record as opposed to a Run DMC record since you were doing it all yourself this time?
Run: I found it very easy because I had my direction, God gave me a direction. And once God gave me a direction in my dream and through visions, I knew where to go and just followed the map.
SU: It seems like with this record you would take it a little more personally too if it was successful or not since it was all your ideas.
Run: It has already done well. It is like going out in your yard and playing ball, I enjoy the process. The process is success for me.
SU: This was the first release to come out under the Russel Simmons Music Group, right?
Run: Yeah, it’s exciting. Working with my brother is a big deal.
SU: What led to the creation of the label?
Run: I think I pulled him back into the music industry. I played him the record and it kicked his head in, he couldn’t believe it. He was like ‘oh my God, this sound amazing, let me go get a new label.
SU: Are you going to be touring on this record’s release?
Run: No, I don’t expect to. I am just excited about my television show.
SU: I was going to ask you about that…
Run: Yeah, that is the thing I am focusing on. I love working with my family, and my house is my office now. I can wake up and start creating. People ask me, how am I a reverend? and I say that I am opening my ministry on MTV. I am going to inspire through my words of wisdom. When I wake up every morning I send out words of wisdom from my blackberry, it goes out to people like Serena Williams, Kid Rock, Puff Daddy, LL Cool J, Russel Simons, a bunch of radio stations and dot coms, and it just gets spread around. On the show they show me writing those in the morning and as you look at the show with me mentoring my kids, those words of wisdom kind of intertwine with the show. Then at the end of the show I am back in the tub writing my words of wisdom again and it kind of sums up the show.
SU: Who came up with the idea for the show?
Run: I was in St. Bart’s and everyone looked at me and my family and said wow, Run’s a Reverend? And they looked at me and my wife and said this is a reality show. Then the people gathered around said you are a reality show and you look phenomenal. Eighties king type of rapper that became a reverend and now a family man? This is the real deal. It’s like the Osborne’s but a little different, this is crazy. Then everybody started talking about it and I said did you listen Russell?
So we went to Hollywood and were about to sign this deal with ABC family and all of a sudden I get this call from Puff Daddy. He says, ‘I got an idea, I want to do a reality show on you and your family.’ I said you are kinda late, we are about to sign tomorrow. He said, ‘please, let’s do it on MTV, you are a better fit there.’ I said, you got to talk to Russell. Next thing you know I got a deal on MTV.
SU: Were you at all apprehensive about having millions of people see into your home and follow you around?
Run: It’s my service to the earth, I love doing this. I can’t wait to inspire through the show, it is a big deal to me. I am so happy to have it that there are no problems. The problem would have been if I didn’t get a show. So I am thankful and very happy for it.
SU: Tell me a little bit about the idea behind the album cover?
Run: Distortion you know, think of the world, think of Tsunami, think of Iraq, think of Katrina, the world is filled with craziness going on and the super reverend comes to bring some clarity to what is happening on this earth. DUH-NUH-NUH-NA-NUH, Super Reverend! That’s the album cover you are looking at.
SU: Looking back on your musical career, when was the moment when you felt like you had really achieved success as an artist?
Run: I don’t know, I was just having fun. Every day was just making sure nobody beat me, I used to do this as a competition. I want to perform the best, I want to be the best, it’s my ball, I am taking it home when I go. You know, just being competitive and wanting to win. It has been great getting praise, but really just little kid stuff.