Joseph “Rev Run DMC” Simmons
is one of the founding members of the seminal 1980s hiphop masters RUN D.M.C. Together with Jason William Mizell (a.k.a. Jam-Master Jay, DJ Jazzy Jase) and Darryl Matthews McDaniels (a.k.a. DMC, Easy D, Darryl Mac) the three exploded exploded out of Hollis, Queens, in 1983, changing the sound of rap music, street fashion and popular culture in general.
In 1986 RUN DMC were approached by the Special Olympics Foundation to contribute a song to the first charity album compilation “A Very Special Christmas.” Jospeh Simmons wrote “Christmas in Hollis” in a flurry of inspiration, taking the basis of the story from his own childhood Christmases growing up in Hollis, Queens.
The track was produced by the group along with Rick Rubin, and has become very popular during the holiday season. It reached number 78 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 2000, 13 years after it was first released. The track samples Clarence Carter’s infamous Atlantic Records 1968 holiday song “Back Door Santa”.
Today, Reverend Run lives a peaceful life as a practicing minister and resides with his wife and children in Saddle River, New Jersey.
For a complete biography of RUN DMC please visit this page commemorating their induction into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame.