Rev. Run, one-third of the genre-defining Run DMC, already had a full passport. The emcee, reverend and, today, reality television star was a part of one of the hip-hop groups that brought rap music to every corner of the globe, spreading not only the music, but the fashion and attitude.
But seeing the world from the back of a tour bus is a lot different than seeing it on vacation — or while filming his new travel/reality show hybrid, “Rev Runs Around the World.”
“When you’re touring with Run DMC, you jump off the stage and on to the tour bus to go to the next place,” he said. “With this, you get off the plane, you stay in the same place for a week.”
amNewYork caught up with Rev. Run to talk about the show, the legacy of Run DMC and what advice he would give to globe-hopping modern emcees.
If there had been reality television show cameras following Run DMC around on the road in the ’80s, what would they have seen?
They would have seen a crazy two or three young guys running amok, not believing their overwhelming success, and taking advantage of every moment of every joy that a young kid could see, where the world opens up and everywhere you look someone wants your autograph, girls are screaming, dudes are saying, ‘Yo, I love your music.’ [It’s] an amazing feeling to be so loved.
When travelling for this show, did you still see signs of Run DMC’s global influence?
Wherever I look in hip-hop, I see Run DMC. And around the world, I know they wouldn’t be wearing shell-toed Adidas, and yet they were everywhere I looked. There are still T-shirts with our logos everywhere. It’s still embedded in these places. It made me feel really happy.
If you could give a piece of advice to one of today’s touring emcee about traveling, what would it be?
I can’t say that I would tell them to see the town, because if you’re in a rap group, or if you’re a guy like Kevin Hart, you want to make it to sound check. You want to do a great show, you want to get some rest. You can’t go to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or go out and walk the town. It’s not easy to take advantage of the sights. That’s why I did this — I got to go back to the places I saw that way and really see them.
Jam Master Jay would have turned 50 in 2015. If DJs could take just one thing from his legacy, what should it be?
Kindness. He was kind and he had a gift, a gift of talent. And he worked with it and he worked with people. I would say, be kind to people wherever you go. That will open doors to allow your gift to shine.
See Rev Run’s Run DMC partner Darryl McDaniels for his thoughts on Jam Master Jay here.
On TV: “Rev Runs Around the World” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel.