Revrend Run Wants Memphis to Take Back Their Families!
I visited a book store last week to pick up a “2009 Mom’s Agenda” for my wife and purchase a book for a friend. As I was preparing to leave I spotted a new book by Rev Run, of Run DMC fame, and his wife Justine. I immediately thought of another friend of mine who has become quite the fan of the MTV hit show Run’s House which chronicles the life of Rev Run and his wonderful family. I also saw that Run was coming to lil’ ole Memphis to sign his book and talk up his book! Knowing my friend would be out of town, I decided to buy the book for him and get it signed myself. I enjoyed the first couple seasons of Run’s show but lost interest shortly after. As a hip hop buff I appreciate Run for a different reason. That was all until I heard his heart. I as I stood amidst a couple hundred fans I listened intently as Rev passionately gave his motivation behind the book. He spoke about how he searched his second home (the bookstore) for self-help books on raising a family and was left severely wanting. So he and his wife set out to give a frame work for family success using their own experiences and methods as a guide. He lovingly fielded several questions about the show, his opinion of today’s emcees, his ordination as a minster, and others. There were a couple of answers that really piqued my interest.
He explained how he felt called away from the lifestyle he was leading into a lifestyle more pleasing to God. He shared how he didn’t believe he chose the clothe but how it chose him. He felt it was a natural progression of his passion for God’s will and God’s people. He served as a church member, an usher, a deacon and eventually a minister. He thoughtfully told us how he felt his mission was to those the church would not or could not reach and how he felt lead to live an example before his “church” instead of condemning them, their music and their lifestyles. For example, he would not call contemporary rappers to the carpet over the misogyny in their music but he would open his home to MTV’s cameras to show how a woman should be cherished and respected. He also acknowledged that he would not start a church right now because he can make greater impact by living life before the nation on a “racy network like MTV.”
I don’t know if Rev leans on the gospel when offering true lifelines to people. On the surface his approach seems not unlike Joel Osteen and several other “I’m-not-here-to-condemn-you-put-God-first” motivators. I am very glad to have positive portraits of family living on a network as accessible as MTV. I am very proud of the commitment Rev Run has made to reaching out to the greater community. I do know that there was something familiar about him. I believe the Jesus in me recognized the Jesus in him.
Ironically he retired and kept rockin’. (“I won’t stop rockin’ ’til I retire”-Joseph “Run” Simmons-King of Rock 1985)