The rapper who once performed with Aerosmith and had a generation of teenage partygoers screaming, "Walk This Way," is now just hoping he can keep his own teens in order and make sure they turn the lights off in his house.
The singer-turned-spiritual leader known as Rev. Run is back on MTV, both with new videos for his upcoming solo album "Distortion," and as the star of his own Osbourne family-style reality show, "Run's House," which premieres tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET.
"It's a big deal to me," said the Rev. Run, who is a father of five. "People may not want to see me like this … but this show is really going to be good for me, to me. I'm here to inspire. It's going to show what I'm doing now, what my life's about now."
That includes his transition from chasing album charts and filling arenas as part of the rap trio Run DMC to becoming a religious leader who attends church three times a week, and concentrates on his family – making sure his children don't get too spoiled.
"Now I'm like, 'Turn the lights off in the house!' Or telling my kids, 'I know you didn't just throw that half of an ice cream away," Run said to an audience at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall during the recent College Music Journal Festival in New York.
He said his show may be based in reality but it will seem like a sitcom, with conflicts, comedy and a positive message. The show begins each week with one of his daily words of wisdom that are posted on his Web site.
But what may shock old school hip-hop fans most may have nothing to do with Run's parenting skills – it just may be his current musical taste.
"I'm a peaceful man. I'm listening to old school Anita Baker," said Run. "People wouldn't believe it. I'm listening to Kenny G. I'm relaxing now. For real, I'm listening to real calm stuff."
Only a hip-hop legend could take a quiet vacation in St. Barts and end up being courted for a television series.
"People saw me and my family … and said, 'You're a reality show!'" said Rev. Run. "I was thinking, 'Really? I was just trying to raise my kids.'"
He said people were surprised to see a rebellious rap icon playing in the pool with his kids, and encouraged him to try for his own reality show.
Fortunately for Run, he has some solid connections in the entertainment business – so he asked his brother, Russell Simmons, to go make a deal.
Run said he really wasn't looking to make a big splash on MTV, and was hoping the series would debut on a less-prominent digital cable channel, before he got a call from "Puffy," who persuaded them to bring the show to MTV.
The resulting series, "Run's House," lets viewers peek into the daily life of his immediate family, as each of his five kids, ages 9 through 22, pursues a career in music, modeling or fashion.
He describes the episodes as a version of "controlled reality," meaning the producers would ask him and his family to adjust their schedules so confrontational conversations would be caught on camera.
Run's return to the spotlight comes without his longtime musical partner, DJ Jam Master Jay, who was killed at his studio in Queens, N.Y., nearly three years ago this month.
As a pair, Run and Jay became two of hip-hop's first big stars as fans embraced their straightforward rap style with hits like "Mary, Mary," "Rock Box" and "My Adidas."