It's Like That

Reverend Run, Author, Joseph Simmons, Author, Joseph Simmons Run, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-20467-9
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.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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