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Run-DMC co-founder to play Raiders halftime show

Updated December 5, 2021 - 9:06 am

Break out the oversized chains and Adidas sweats. Rev. Run is rocking Allegiant Stadium.

Joseph Simmons, groundbreaking rapper and co-founder of Run-DMC, is performing at halftime of Sunday’s game between the Raiders and the Washington Football Team. Rev. Run, as he is known professionally, also is the star of the MTV reality show “Run’s House.”

“I’m honored and excited to have the opportunity to perform for Raider Nation at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of the World,” Rev. Run said in a statement. The groundbreaking, 57-year-old artist is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, along with Run-DMC, which has been named as the greatest hip-hop artist ever by MTV and VH1.

For a Vegas angle, the group enlisted Penn & Teller for the “It’s Tricky” video in 1987. For another, Aerosmith re-cut “Walk This Way” with Run-DMC a year earlier, effectively breaking the wall between rock and rap. Both videos are unqualified classics, from this objective perch.

Penn & Teller were sought by producer Rick Rubin to co-star in the “It’s Tricky” the video, and the magicians came up with the idea of performing the street ruse Three Card Monte in the clip.

“It was huge, it was gigantic, in what it meant to our career,” Penn Jillette said Saturday. “We were at the MTV Music Awards the next year, and you had this breakdown of Guns N’ Roses and the newer rock bands in one section, and then Aerosmith and the older rocker in another section. Then all the rappers were in another section, with Run-DMC and NWA, and Penn & Teller were in the middle of it.”

Jillette has hasn’t talked to any of the band’s members since that MTV show. “But I do remember I got to wear Run-DMC’s chains, I wore all the stuff they wore, and the guys were very nice. We had a great time on a very, very long shoot.”

Rev. Run has since become a force on social media, evoking spiritual messages, usually “God is good” or “God is the greatest.” He has amassed 3.9 million followers on his @RevRunWison Twitter account with just a single follow (the echofon Twitter app for iOS and Android users). The Rev also has 2.2 million followers on his @revwon IG page, with zero follows.

This season, the Raiders also have presented rock greats Carlos Santana and Sammy Hagar; DJs Marshmello and Steve Aoki; rappers Ludacris, and Too Short with Ice Cube; and also the “World Famed Tiger Marching Band” from Grambling State University.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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