Joseph Simmons, better known worldwide as Rev Run, is coming to the Hamptons to perform an intimate show at Calissa in Water Mill. The set, part of the new Calissa Sounds series, pairs Run with DJ Ruckus for what is sure to be an epic show on August 20.
As a founding member of legendary hip hop group Run-DMC, Run has since found great success as a DJ and reality TV star, with shows including Run’s House, Rev Run’s Renovation, Rev Run’s Sunday Suppers and Rev Runs Around the World. Rev Run is, in fact, an ordained minister and has authored several books on the subject of faith, family and, most recently, Old School Love, which he co-authored with his wife of over 20 years Justine Simmons.
Here, Run discusses recent and upcoming projects, his Calissa Sounds show and his love for intimate DJ sets.
Is this your first live performance since the pandemic?
I did a small thing for a food and wine event, so this would be my second. It’s been really hard not being able to get on turntables, rock the mic and do what I do in front of crowds, so this is exciting. I jumped on this when Bettie (Levy of BCL Entertainment) called me, and I was like, “Oh my God, this is perfect!” I’ve been out in the Hamptons anyway. I was driving the other day, I was like, “Oh snap, that’s where I’m performing!” It’s just been amazing.
What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming performance in the Hamptons?
I have friends out there, so I’ll be inviting a couple of them. I just love the Hamptons, and I also love the vibe of this place, Calissa, because you know that Mykonos-type vibe? That’s what I’m looking for, so I’m hoping to go out to Calissa and everywhere this summer sometime. But getting invited to the Hamptons, you can’t beat that! So I’m looking for that cool vibration, but it’s not that easy to find that type of vibe anywhere—in New York, in the Hamptons—but they created it, and that’s exciting.
What songs do you plan to perform for the Calissa audience?
I’m not gonna give it all away, but just know that I’m coming with my arsenal of Run-DMC and other stuff. And DJ Ruckus is so ill on the turntable and gets so crazy, that they can expect a little of everything. I’m gonna bring the hits, and I’m gonna also bring … special stuff. That’s what DJ said. It’s a monster; it’s a game changer.
Tell us a little more about the experience you hope to give the crowd at Calissa.
I’m gonna thrill them. I’m gonna be thrilled; they’re gonna be thrilled. There’s gonna be a lot of call and response. There’s gonna be a lot of high, high energy. Get down with your get down!
Do you have any exciting projects in the works that you can preview for us?
I’m pretty close to closing a couple deals, but I can’t give it away. The secret is that there’s some big stuff in the space of what I’ve been doing over the last year, outside of music, with television, that I’m looking forward to bringing to people. You’ll find me on TV very soon.
The release of your book Old School Love: And Why It Works (January 28, 2020) was so opportune, coming out just before couples were forced into quarantine together, resulting in a lot of relationship strain. Can you talk a little about that?
Everybody was stuck inside their house with their spouse or with their girlfriend or boyfriend, and you can bet on that (couples could easily get) on each other’s nerves. It was perfect for us to put the book out. I mean, I won’t say the pandemic was perfect, but it definitely was a helpful tool in the midst of being stuck in the crib.
What do you find most rewarding about your career?
I’m a DJ, so when Bettie Levy of BCL Entertainment reached out and told me, I knew I could do what I love to do. I do big, big Madison Square Garden type stuff with Run-DMC, but when I am able to come to the Hamptons and play an intimate, cool place, that actually thrills me more than playing for 20,000 people. I’m actually thrilled to be coming to the Hamptons and giving that vibe that feels like Mykonos—that whole cool vibration—I can’t wait to bring that.
I do it all over the place; I’ve done it in Vegas … and I’ve done this thing that excites me. If I couldn’t do anything else … if there was one thing out of your work that you would do no matter what happened, what would it be? That would be the DJ sets that I create. That’s the thing I can’t live without. I love, love that.
Rev Run and DJ Ruckus’s show takes place on Friday, August 20 at 10 p.m. with Calissa’s bottle service and kitchen menu items available until midnight for each performance. Reservations with table minimums for Calissa Sounds can be made by visiting calissahamptons.com/calissasounds.