Unless you're blind and deaf, you knowRev Run
. He's a founding member of legendary rap crewRun-D.M.C
. , an ex-reality TV star, prominent reverend, father of six, and a DJ.
But before he hopped on a jet down to South Florida, Rev Run chatted with Crossfade from his New Jersey compound about everything from his fabulous career to his words of wisdom for 2012.
Crossfade: How were the holidays in Run's house?
Rev Run: Well, you should know everyone has to believe in Santa. I don't care how old you are. Vanessa is 28 and if she doesn't believe, she is in trouble. My wife is very strict on that. There are so many lights on my house that it is actually blinding. We have the whole block lit up from about November 14, all the way into January. We have a lot of people driving by taking pictures. Inside the house is no different. Every room is turned into Christmas.
New Years in Miami. Are you excited?
For sure. Miami is so crazy. Cars on South Beach in December can barely move! But I am bringing my family with me, so it should be fun. I am really looking forward to it.
The whole family is leaving the East Coast behind?
Yep. I am going to have Justine, Miley, Russy and I believe Angela is going to be out there. Maybe my other daughter Vanessa. Diggy is headlining the Scream tour, so sadly he won't be with us.
I actually met your brothers, [painter] Danny and [Def Jam co-founder] Russell, during Art Basel. Did your mother put success in your milk growing up?
It's a blessing. I can't explain it. I thank God I have some talent. And I'm lucky enough to really enjoy what I do.
Your kids aren't too bad themselves.
Pastry, Angela and Vanessa's [Pastry Shoes] business is doing extremely well. Diggy and Mindless Behavior have been number one on the rap countdown on BET for about five days straight now. Watching all of this happen, I am just so grateful.
I have to know: What is a party with Rev Run like?
Well, I started out as a DJ. Then I put together Run-D.M.C. and it kind of blew up from there. So for New Year's Eve, I am bringing it back all the way because I am DJing this year. I am also bringing Mel Debarge. It's going to be kind of old-school mania.
How did you and Mel Debarge get together?
He is amazing. He does all the New York clubs. When I wrapped up Run's House, everyone was asking me what I wanted to do now and I just wanted to DJ. It has kind of blown up lately, and then I was introduced to Mel in the midst of all of it.
Speaking of Run's House, whatever happened to that show? I was obsessed with it!
It kind of ran its course. Everyone got older. A lot of my kids were out of the house. As Diggy was getting older, he was less and less excited to share his life on a TV show. We did six seasons, and we kind of came to the conclusion it was time to do something else.
Looking back at your entire career, did you think you would be here?
I am still flattered every time I see a Run-D.M.C. t-shirt. I see ten year olds, grandmas, and everyone in between rocking them, and it lets me know people still love us. We just released a new batch of Adidas sneakers. It's really, really flattering.
Can you name a best moment of your career so far?
I would say when we were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. When I got the call, I was in a little bit of a daze. I was just like, "How and why did this happen? What does it mean?" I had to look into what it meant to receive an award and what it meant to build a career. Or in the late '80s when we got the Adidas deal, that was monumental too.
Eminem presented you with the award. Did you think that was a good choice?
For sure. He did something called "Two turn tables and a mic." It was really cool. He was just coming back from beating all of his demons and I was very honored he presented us with the award.
Are you proud of what hip-hop is today?
I love it. Nicki Minaj was just on the cover of Variety. Jay-Z is a mogul. Will Smith was a rapper and now he runs Hollywood. Diddy is going to be a billionaire. I am in awe of it. It's unbelievable.
Do you have any resolutions for this upcoming year?
I have been on Weight Watchers and I love it. I am loosing about a pound a week. They have an app and it's actually really easy to keep track of everything. I'm down about 10 pounds and I am going to try to keep that up.
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You are famous for your Rev Run wisdom. What is your best piece of advice for 2012?
People seem to be in a place where they never think they did enough. People ask, "Is it good? Is it good?" It's like they plant the seed and dig it up before the harvest even comes in. I always tell people to lose the anxiety. Just do your best and forget the rest.
Rev Run's New Year's Eve with Mel Debarge. Saturday, December 31. Shore Club Hotel, 1901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The party starts at 9 p.m. and tickets cost $100 to $5,000 via newyearseve.morganshotelgroup.com. Call 305-695-3100 or visit shoreclub.com.