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Happy Birthday, Rev Run!

Rev. Run
Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images

The man who co-founded Run-DMC—DJ Run, now famously known as Rev Run—turns 53 years old today (Nov. 14).

Born Joseph Simmons, Run started his career as the teenaged deejay for hip-hop legend Kurtis Blow, who was managed by his older brother, Russell Simmons. Run eventually convinced his big brother to become his manager; and Run formed a trio with his friends Daryl “DMC” McDaniels and Jason “Jam-Master Jay” Mizell. Simmons would help the group land a record deal and Run-DMC released their self-titled debut album in 1984. It was the first in a series of breakthroughs for the group; culminating with the trio’s third album, Raising Hell, which went triple platinum in 1986. And the group’s endorsement deal with Adidas back in 1986 was the first of its kind.

Run would become an ordained minister in the 1990s and in the 2000s, “Rev” Run jumped into reality television. His MTV show Run’s House, which featured his family, became a hit during its four-year run.

He’s since gone on to become a steady presence in pop culture; with two more television series and a relationship advice book called Manology, that was penned with R&B singer Tyrese–with whom he briefly co-hosted the talk show It’s Not You, It’s Men.  In 2009, Eminem inducted Run-DMC as the second hip-hop group ever into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s well deserved for the Kings of Rock.

Watch Rev. Run and Ice Cube 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher Freestyle With Their Sons:

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