It has been a long road for Reverend Run: from the basements of his Queens, New York homeland where he once spun records as Kurtis Blows DJ to performing in front of worldwide audiences as a premier rapper, this pioneer has seen more than most.
I wanted my first solo single Mind on the Road to feel like a man reminiscing, says the man known today as Reverend Run, baptized Joseph Simmons. Its exciting being part of a great group, thrilling the crowd on stage and then signing autographs afterwards. That was the feeling I wanted to inject in Mind on the Road.
With Runs powerful voice and electric guitar energy reminiscent of Run-DMC classic collaborations with Eddie Martinez (Rock Box), Areosmith (Walk this Way) and Rick Rubin, Mind on the Road is the perfect track to re-introduce this legendary artist to a new generation. Before our DJ Jam Master Jay was killed (2002), we were on the road non-stop, Run says. This is a tribute to those days of sweating on stage and playing spades on the plane.
As one-third of Run-DMC, the hip-hop group that changed the sound of rap by simultaneously being more street and rock n roll than their contemporaries, Run-DMC emerged on the scene with boom box classic single Sucker MCs (1983), and never looked back. Dressed in their trademarked black hats, outfits to match and strangely laced Adidas sneakers, Run-DMC swaggered onto the stage of Americans collective consciousness, determined to make rap music more than a street soundtrack for folks in the hood.
Indeed, the harder the beats and attitude the deadly trio laced in the grooves, the more suburbia wanted to be down with these kings. Managed by Runs brother and main supporter Russell Simmons, the awe-inspiring Run-DMC defined a new level of Black cool for the world. With a sonic canon that includes their self-titled debut disc, as well as King of Rock, Raising Hell and Tougher Than Leather, the illustrious group stayed at the top of the pop charts for most of the 80s. Although these brothers from separate mothers stopped recording in 1999 with the release of their last disc Crown Royal, Run-DMC has never become irrelevant in the eyes of the Hip-Hop Nation.
The first release on the newly formed Russell Simmons Music Group (RSMG), Run says, I didnt play anything for Russ until I recorded eight songs. When he did finally hear the tracks, he started sweating and almost fainted. Then he screamed, My brothers still got it. He couldnt believe how crazy the tracks and flow were on the album. Russell knew that Rev had struck gold. God has allowed me to recapture those yesterdays on Distortion.
Run-DMC knocked open the doors to commercial freedom for the rap generation, stated Russell Simmons. Their very best efforts were big in the streets and were ahead of their time when it came to the mainstream. The music from Rev Run on Distortion is honest; its creative, special and refreshing. Hes being true to himself.