Hip-hop/Spirituality/Freethinking. Speaking for all underdogs!
Rev. Run: Touch Me or Nah?
Maybe God is trying to tell me something! A few weeks ago I had to go beef-stew on Bishop Don “Magic” Juan for his Mickey Mouse “God-created-Adam-and-Eve-not-Adam-and-Steve” homophobia and the next week Reverend Run of the 80’s iconic rap collective Run DMC enters my kill-zone. I’m just not having it with wannabe “men of God” who are supposed to succor and comfort the needy. I may not be able to revoke their hood passes, but I’m straight shitting on their spiritual passes!
You hip-hop Negroes are so full of nostalgia and reverence for iconic and legendary hip-hop figures. Well I’m not! If you disrespect me, I’m coming for that ass! In the case of Rev. Run, this isn’t the first time I’ve written about him. The very fact that he is a “Prosperity Preacher” rubs me the wrong way—being the student of another multimillionaire prosperity preacher—Bishop E. Bernard Jordan—who was the student of one of the biggest prosperity preachers—hallelujah hucksters—pulpit pranksters evaaaar—the good pimp Reverend Doctor Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II a.k.a. Rev. Ike. Most of you may be too young to remember, but there’s always Google and yo’ mama & grandmamma. Some of your peeps gave Rev. Ike hella dollars, while depriving you of the basic necessities of life. I’m jus’ sayin’…
So what did Rev. Run do to me? Let me ‘splain.
I was recently in Las Vegas. My beautiful 28 year old niece who I was very close to suddenly passed away. She had been walking around with Leukemia and didn’t even know it! I flew in immediately upon hearing that she had died—the very next day (I got it like dat and just think! Some of you fools think I really do flour yard-bird for eight bucks an hour at the local chicken shack!)
After spending the day comforting my childhood bestie and his family I decided to hit the Strip for some “Me Time.” Lo & behold! Who do I run into coming out of the MGM Grand Hotel? The Good Reverend Run! Mind you, I was feelin’ hella down, but maybe a spiritual encounter with Rev. Run would boost my spirits.
Straightway, I walk up to him and say, “Hello Rev. Run! Pleasure meeting you! My name is Khalil Amani.” I extend my hand and this dude gives me the most bitch-de-fied handshake I’ve ever had! Not a “pound” or a black man handshake! Nay! Home-biscuit grabs my hand by my fingertips and shakes—as though I was a fucking leper and never looked me squarely in my eyes. He’s taller than I, so he looked over my head while mumbling gibberish of the get-out-of-my-face variety—you know—that head-nod disrespectful I’m speaking only ‘cause you’re speaking to me kinda action.
I walked away thinking, “No he didn’t! Yo’ Khalil! He played you tha fuck out!” I walked a few feet away and decided to sit down and think about this. Rev. Run went back into the casino while his wife and family waited in the limo, which was so packed full with shit in the trunk that they couldn’t close it. Minutes later, Rev. Run emerges for a second time. Now I’m thinking about a photo opt (just to prove that I really ran into him ‘cause I already knew a blog was brewing inside me!) Run jumped into the limo before I could say “Shesus Khryst” and off they went.
The valet commented to me that, “He comes here a lot. He doesn’t like to be touched.”
Now let’s back up. I’m not one of these star-struck stans that’ll run up on a celebrity while he’s dining with his family in a restaurant. We literally almost bumped into each other—Rev. Run & I. To not speak and acknowledge him would have been disrespectful of me—especially considering that I grew up on Run DMC and that we are men of a similar age and all.
But eff that! I’ve spoken to complete strangers that have come off more genuine than this “man of God!” I’ve shaken the hands of outright atheists whom exuded more love and respect than Rev. Run! Rev. Run failed the love test! Rev. Run failed the “be kind to others test.” Rev. Run failed the biblical test of hospitality, which says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels awares” (Hebrews 13:2). Furthermore, in the Good Book, Jesus says, “…Inasmuch as ye have done it [disrespected] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it [disrespected] unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
Jesus touched the multitude, going so far as to washing folk’s feet and shit! He even let a woman—a presumed prostitute—wash and anoint his hair, face, arms, and feet! Who the fuck is you Rev. Run? You are merely a sinful, dirty, filthy rag like me! Fuck your fame & money! God doesn’t care about mammon (wealth)! And if you're offended by my profanity, it's because I suffer from "Lalochezia," which is the emotional relief gained from using abusive and profane language (I put a call in to Jesus about this!) and besides that, for me, there is something very cathartic and devilish about using profanity to make a religious point to a religious person. In this case, Rev. Run.
On the day in question, you did the ministry and Jesus hella disservice and I’m the one to tell you about it—one of God’s “strangers/angels.” Now “do what thou wilt.” Selah.
Rest in Peace my beautiful and highly intelligent niece Sharmaine Rutledge 11-8-1986 to 1-23-2015.
Khalil Amani writes for Allhiphop.com, DJ Kay Slay’s Originators & Straight Stuntin Magazines. He’s been featured in L.A. Times, Spin Magazine, DaveyD.com, The Biography Channel. Author of six books, including the groundbreaking “Hip-Hop Homophobes…” (iuniverse.com ’07). Follow on IG @khalil_amani, Facebook, Twitter @khalilamani.