The interest of Joseph Simmons, aka Run of Run DMC, aka the Reverend Run, to be Queens' new poet laureate brings up an interesting question: What is a New Yorker? While Simmons and Run-DMC have done a lot for Queens, Simmons' move to posh NJ suburb Saddle River makes his big seem less fitting, as some feel strongly that the unpaid laureateship should go to someone who lives in the borough. Beyond the debate over whether or not rap is art, it makes Gothamist wonder how deep your affiliations can be. Of course, the move to NJ is worse than Run just moving to Manhattan, but we feel he'd give the position some attention and halo that to Queens as well. Plus the fact is, once you've lived in New York, you're a New Yorker forever.
Gothamist loves what Run told the Times:
So why, the Reverend Run was asked last week when reached by cellphone on his way to yoga class in Manhattan, would he covet the position? His answer: The people, they want me.
"Somebody called and suggested that maybe I should," he said. "Then I looked up the word laureate and realized that the first one was back in the 1800's and he was the guy who did poetry for the king. I said, 'Cool.'"
An unofficial Run-DMC website, plus Joseph Simmons spoke with Bill O'Reilly about his book.