It's Like That: A Spiritual Memoir

It's Like That: A Spiritual Memoir

by Joseph Simmons Run, Curtis L. Taylor, Reverend Run, Joseph Simmons
     
 

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Money, success, and widespread adulation: Run of Run-DMC, one of the first rappers to achieve nationwide recognition and top-selling albums, seemed to have it all in his heyday. But the dizzying effects of fame soon left Run feeling empty and dissatisfied. Stuck in a pit of despair, he went through the motions of his public life while grappling with his loss of

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Overview

Money, success, and widespread adulation: Run of Run-DMC, one of the first rappers to achieve nationwide recognition and top-selling albums, seemed to have it all in his heyday. But the dizzying effects of fame soon left Run feeling empty and dissatisfied. Stuck in a pit of despair, he went through the motions of his public life while grappling with his loss of direction and a family life that was falling apart. Here is the story of how he turned his life around, discovering a wellspring of spirituality within himself and a special connection with God. Now an ordained minister, Run talks in this extraordinary book about his profound life change and getting the message out to the community. Still a major rap performer, with a new album just out entitled Crown Royal and frequent appearances on MTV, Run is truly a rennaissance man. A spiritual memoir unlike any other, It's Like That captures the innocence of youth, the pain of chaos, and the joy that one can only find through righteous living. This is an epic and absorbing tale from one of the most popular and complex performers of our times.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Legendary rapper Run of Run-D.M.C. (born Joseph Simmons of Hollis, Queens) became a top-paid star in the 1980s, when rap was still in its infancy. He was in something of an infancy himself, lacking the maturity to fend off the drugs and sexual promiscuity of the music business. He became severely depressed when the band's albums of the late 1980s garnered disappointing sales. Simmons/Run lost himself, developing what he calls a "spiritual amnesia" that threatened to erode the firm, early foundations of family and community he'd enjoyed. Evidence of this erosion manifests prodigiously in the memoir, even unintentionally: for example, when describing how he was called to defend himself on rape charges, Run mentions that his wife "was upset" and took their kids away after the trial. Wife? Kids? This is the first the reader has heard of them. True to the conversion-story format, however, Run cleans up his act. Now the Reverend Run, he focuses on helping others, especially young people, turn their lives around. Scattered after each chapter are Run's 13 "house rules" for living, featuring standard self-help slogans such as "It's never too late to reinvent yourself" and "Obstacles don't hold you back; you hold you back." This rap-to-riches-to-religion story should appeal to teens and music fans, though it may disappoint those looking for a more penetrating spiritual memoir. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312204679
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
08/01/1900
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.64(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt




Chapter One


Walk This Way


... So I took a big chance at the high school dance with a lady who was ready to play / It wasn't me who was foolin' because she knew what she was doing when she told me how to walk this way / Talk this way ... / walk this way / Talk this way. Walk this way ...

—Run-D.M.C. with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith,
"Walk This Way" (Raising Hell, 1986)


Yeah, I was the king of rap; there was none higher. And I had all the trappings that came with the throne: drugs and alcohol, women and money. All fueled by my insatiable thirst for mo' sex, drugs, and cash.

    Addicted.

    And I couldn't stop getting high on the lifestyle and power that come with being at the top of the rap game.

    I'd check into a five-star hotel near the Los Angeles airport; the rooms were $750 per night, the best money could buy. There would be five, ten, sometimes even twenty women trying to get on the floor or hangin' around the lobby trying to meet, greet, and get a glimpse of Run, not just the rap star but the king of rap.

    And, I must admit, I loved it. I basked in the attention, knowing that this was crazy. The groupies waiting in Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, and New York seduced me into thinking it would never end. Name a city, and the ladies were there waiting; limos lined up to ride; thick, $5,000 gold ropes to represent; and my uniform: Adidas, a sweat suit, and a black hat.

   Thousands of fans turned out to help Run-D.M.C. rock the house each night.

    And why not? Our sound was fresh, innovative. People had never heard anything like it. Compared to our beats—blazing guitar riffs teamed with the skillful vocals of me, Run; D.M.C. (Darryl McDaniels); and Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizell)—all the others were just sucka MCs. We were the best showmen in the business. Sitting at the top of the rap game.

    And, because of our exciting style, we ruled the record charts, the first rap group to sell millions of records. And we were just kids.

    Crazy. Mad crazy.

    And at eighteen I had the loot to prove it.

    But God has a way of getting your attention. Almost overnight, mad confusion set in and things began to change. I began to slip. Our new record didn't meet the high expectations. The film we produced with our own money bombed. And although the new record still sold more than a million copies, I felt like a failure because it didn't do as well as the previous one.

    With my head all messed up from smoking too much weed and all the pressure that comes with being the king of rap, my live performances began to slip. I was being pushed to do shows at less than 100 percent. I needed a break, but kings don't take breaks; they rap on.

    I couldn't find Run, and the fans seemed to stop coming. Although the arenas were nearly filled, the fans seemed to know something was not right in Run's house.

    I neglected myself, the people around me.

    I had lost almost everything.

    My throne was being snatched away like a thick gold chain by a subway thief. I knew I had to do something, but what? It was like chasing after your gold chain: You knew that no matter how fast you ran after the culprit, you were never getting your rope back. So why bother?

    There was no way out. I was trapped.

    I couldn't find Run.

    Intoxicated by the illusion of power I had created, for the first time in my life I felt as if I were failing.

    I had lost my vision and my reason to live.

    Lifeless.

    I found my self-confidence to get through the day increased with each joint I smoked. The more I smoked, the more I found Run. So I smoked all the time.

    I bought new cars, Rolex watches—anything flashy to make me feel and look like the king of rap. The problem was I didn't have the money or energy anymore to fuel the lifestyle. I did anything to avoid facing the pain inside.

    But when your world is all about consumption, you're only going to consume yourself in the end.

    Nearly broke, all screwed up, my vision blocked, I didn't have the strength to make it through another day. Being depressed was the lowest point of my life. Maybe I was suffering from a nervous breakdown, but there was something going on when I was on tour.

    During this period, I can't say I was a willing participant in Run's world, but thankfully, although I didn't know it at the time, God was always with me.

    Out of nowhere Bishop E. Bernard Jordan and Zoe Ministries appeared. I know it sounds crazy—and it was crazy—but there God was knocking at my door offering to bring me in from the cold.

    I didn't listen at first. I couldn't see. My vision was blocked. I enjoyed the money, the cars, the ladies, and the fame too much. I was the king of rap.

    In the end all those things weren't enough to fuel my soul. It was only after hitting rock bottom that I was forced to change.

    I found Run, but he was not the same Run. He had been born again, spiritually empowered as the Reverend Run.

    The spiritual transformation started in 1986 while I was out raising hell.


RUN'S HOUSE RULE

No. 1


You Get What You Put Out


You can't stay hot forever. What goes up will come down. No matter how big you get in the game, you will eventually come back down to earth. But remember, when the excitement and celebrity eventually fade, you were a class act before it all began. Change is a natural state of being. It will happen, so be prepared. Stay humble and remember when things settle down to earth it's only part of life's natural process of regenerating itself. Like a flower blooming, something new has to grow. And remember, you reap what you sow. You get what you put out.


It's Like This ...

    * Never forget: What goes up must come down. Stay humble.

    * Be prepared for change. It will come.

    * Life will kick you in the butt if you are not living right.

    * It's part of life's natural flow when things settle down.


The Word: "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves: we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture"

—Psalms 100:1-5


Reverend Run: "Almost overnight, mad confusion set in and things began to change.... I bought new cars, Rolex watches—anything flashy to make me feel and look like the king of rap. The problem was I didn't have the money to fuel the lifestyle. I did anything to avoid facing the pain inside. But when your world is all about consumption, you're only going to consume yourself in the end."

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