Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons is a master of reinvention. From rap legend of Run-D.M.C., to minister, to reality show icon, Rev Run keeps finding ways to stay relevant in pop culture. His family was launched into the spotlight when Run's House premiered on MTV in 2005. The show ran for six seasons, spawning another family-based story, Rev Run's Renovation, on DIY and HGTV that brought huge ratings to the networks in 2013. Clearly, viewers enjoy watching Rev and wife Justine manage marriage, kids, and making it all work.
Keeping this gravy train rolling, Rev and Justine are starring in another show, this time using the kitchen to bring their now grown-up family back to the home. In Rev Run's Sunday Suppers, the Simmons clan comes together for family meals every Sunday. Each episode features different family members, from son Diggy and daughter Miley to Justine's parents, sister, and friends as they try to settle on traditional recipes, keep Rev healthy, and battle for who's boss of the kitchen.
Some dishes viewers will see prepared include Justine's famous lasagna, chicken & waffles, and "Aunt Chelle's Mac & Cheese." Diggy is known as the "food police" of the family and brings vegetarian tacos into the mix, while Rev's longtime road manager Perry Jones prepares turkey wings under Justine's watchful eye. We talked to Rev about the new show, food, and when the non-stop mogul will make another stop in Miami.
New Times: What does food mean to you and your family?
Rev Run: It means a time to come together. There's just a lot of happiness involved in it. It's an amazing thing. Food brings people together and brings smiles out, so for us, it's everything.
Why did you decide to do Sunday Suppers?
I felt like an 'empty nest' environment. The family is all moved out. Vanessa moved to L.A.; Angela, she's in the city; Diggy is always on the road. I felt like I needed to pull us together for at least one meal a week, cause I was missing the Run's House times, the times of growing up. When I spoke to Cooking Channel about it, they loved the idea so we got the cameras and put together Rev Run's Sunday Suppers.
Tell us about one of the episodes.
My wife, we have a 'Cheat Day,' cause I try to eat healthy. For 'Cheat Day' I make her make lasagna and then at night, we're in bed and she hears papers crumbling under the covers - and it's me with my Snickers and my Starbursts. She's like, "What is this?" and I'm like "Cheat Day is not over yet, it's not even midnight. Today is still Cheat Day." She grabs the covers off me and finds a bag of candy, through the moon of all different types of candy.
Do you enjoy doing the cooking yourself?
I enjoy putting my special rub on the steak. This one time, Diggy, who's very healthy, I'm making bison burgers for him cause he tells me there's less fat in them. So I'm standing there cooking and his road manager is making these jokes, telling me, "Yo that bi-son looks dry, son." It gets really silly in the kitchen when I'm trying to cook. What's crazy is everyone has their own, new way of eating and thinking so it kind of makes for very funny and true television.
What do you hope viewers take away from the show?
Family, love. This is what it's all about for me. If I can get people to come together and begin to eat together, laugh together, love together, then I think I've done my job.
What other projects do you have in the works?
Right now we have Rev Run's Renovations Season 2, we're working on that. It's all about the outdoors, we needed the yard done over and a couple things left in the house to be done. Hopefully by the time you guys finish Sunday Suppers I'll have Season 2 of Renovations in the can and ready to come out.
You've DJed in Miami sometimes, most recently at LIV. Are you coming back any time soon?
I DJ in Miami quite a bit, I DJ at LIV. Not sure when the next one is... I'll probably be DJing at Club LIV within the next couple of months.
What's your favorite thing to eat?
It's not healthy, but I love pizza. Just plain with extra cheese. It's pretty crazy.
New York pizza, right?
Heck yeah. Make it Avenue and Queens, to be exact.
Rev Run's Sunday Suppers premieres Sunday, June 8, at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on the Cooking Channel.