When his partner was killed, Run spoke at the funeral, and now says he is grateful he had little to regret since their tight friendship meant that nothing had been left unsaid. He was also comforted by the belief that Jay had accomplished a lifetime of work in his years. "Look at the legacy he left behind – he opened DJ schools and all this great stuff," said Run.
He said he moved on after Jay's death by focusing on redefining his own career purpose.
"What's left for me to do with my life beyond Run DMC? Maybe it's this album I have coming, but that became my focus," said Run.
So he headed back to the studio with little fanfare.
"I have no side artists, no great producers, no Pharrell [Williams]," said Run, referring to the hitmaking composer and recording artist.
He actually kept the entire process a secret so that no label executives would pressure him to update his sound and try to emulate current rap stars like 50 Cent and Jay-Z.
Run said he started recording and asked his producer to crank up the drums and let him get to work.
"And we will put little scratches of guitars and whatever we can find, just make it real steel sounding … and I will scream on the top of my lungs and that's what we did for 10 records straight," said Run.
"If you like Run DMC stuff – you pick up this album, it's going to feel exactly like Run," the rapper said. "It's going to smell like Run, it's going to have the feel of that old Beastie Boy, Rick Rubin-type of vibe."
If the fans don't favor that logic when the album debuts on Oct. 18, it's fine by this veteran act. In his mind, the album has already hit gold.
"The expectation is already made," said Rev. Run. "Is it going to be a hit? It's a smash because I had fun doing it. I loved it, it's all the process. So much, that I'm making another one now."