XXcLusive: Rev Run Speaks on Diggy’s Rap Aspirations

Although Rev Run’s middle son Daniel “Diggy” Simmons is only 15-years-old, the Run-D.M.C. legend is not discouraging the aspiring rapper’s dreams on the mic.

XXLMag.com recently spoke to Run about the buzz surrounding Dig—who signed to Atlantic Records earlier this week—and if he’s worried about his offspring being too young for a career in hip-hop.

“Never, I don’t discourage nobody in my house,” he said. “This is an entertainment house. My daughter Angela was in college, she was like, ‘Daddy, I don’t know what to do, I’m getting straight A’s in college, but Pastries is taking off.’ I’m like, ‘Peace college, go take your butt down to the sneaker office and go get that paper…that’s your college… We’ll get back to [school], Pastries is doing millions.’”

“This is a household that follows dad,” he continued. “I was in college when Run-D.M.C. started to hit, but I had to take a leave of absence. I’ve been absent ever since.”

Diggy has been making a name for himself since dropping his First Flight mixtape last December. Earlier this month he released a video where he rhymed over Nas’s “Made You Look” instrumental [watch below]. —Jesse Gissen

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • giantstepp

    Ok youngsta…not bad. But no way the “influence” of Daddy Rev and Uncle Russy didnt help him get signed. Fact is… is that the streets are full of dudes that can spit for real too but they dont have any connects like he has in his family. Not taking away from the skill, but Rev Run is your father and Russell fuckin Simmons is your Uncle?? That was the difference right there for Diggy and the averagecat in the street!

    • eebubble

      yeah but jojo sucks and connections arent helping him.
      also i know many college graduates with amazing grades, that cant find a job for shit, what he is saying if the opportunity knocks, open the door and dont let it slip away.

      what if diggy goes to college whatever, and gets a straight life but it always bothers him of what he couldve done.

      • gulfo cartel recruiter

        HOLD UP!!..first off, the kid can rap..i give him that..but what he needs to stop doing is the whole TYGA dancing..i mean check out every single TYGA video there is.youll see the whole horizontal hand chops,both hands on the fitted cap,stepping wide as fuck side ways back and forth…i mean fuck TYGA but this little kid straight bit his style lol..please no horizontal hand chops..hiphop dont need that

    • JeauxKing

      Not bad for a 15 year old…. Didnt rap about guns and drugs. Im some what impressed.

  • these posts are racist

    This is disgusting. Discouraging college education in any way shape or form is disgusting, especially in a time where college and education is imperative for a life of stability and happiness.

    Using random examples of financial success to argue that college is not necessary or at least takes a back seat to “getting that paper” highlights how much Run does not get it.

    • bobbydigital

      “especially in a time where college and education is imperative for a life of stability and happiness.” you go to college to be successful. if you can bypass college and become successful to gain that “life of stability and happiness” that you claim then what is the problem?

      Apparently Rev Run has already GOT IT considering your typing about him…

    • Brahsef

      If you have opportunities ahead of you sometimes college isn’t that necessary. Shit, I’m a college graduate and finding a job seems impossible right now.

      Some people are blessed to not have to go to college.

    • JOse

      You are dead on! In times where jobs are scarce you need all the education you can get! You hit the lotto way back with RUN DMC and so did RUSSELL, Diggy has what any other kid has…a presence BUT HE ALSO HAS DADDY AND THE CONNECTIONS!!! DUDE..education first then get that “PAPER”! YA DIG?!

      • worrrdddzzz

        Being from the projects of bk…and getting mah masters in education (26 now)…for anyone to not advocate college is fuckin’ wreckless..As a teacher and seeing these kids lack of motivation and competitiveness is crazy! Get that education…set an example for ya people…i’ve helped many of mah dudes start the road to college (community or otherwise)…not everyone is lucky to make it to college I know…but its damn sure UNLIKELY for most cats to break into entertainment..its easy to be unambitious and lazy…jobs ain’t looking to hire “non-institutionalized SMART” people anymore…sorry to sound harsh..but its real talk

    • Hanch

      Tpar your an idiot! College is not imperative for a life of stability and happiness. See here you go with your Self Righteous shit again. Just because it worked for you doesnt mean it will work for everybody Dumbass! I didnt go to college and I have a fucking Awesome Job that I love and I am completely Happy so I need to quit my great job making spectacular money and go to college because you say its imperative that I do so…GTFOH Clown. Go fail in some more peace talks asshole!

    • ncprecise

      college isn’t everything fam. plenty of people with degrees w/o a steady job. (or if they do have a job they hate it) if someone has a dream, then they should follow their dream.



    • TakeitorLeaveit

      Yo…Rev. Run is not discouraging college… this is life and you gotta live. you need money to survive. Heck you need MONEY for college! Education is great but first off…not everyone is meant for college….secondly, College is where many ppl’s careers take off. Thats one of the main points of college anyway is to prepare you for the working world and life in the “real world”….Life teaches you lessons as you go anyway. And if you’re in the field you want to be in anyway, what better way to learn about it than to take opportunities and live it? Would I have the same mind set as Rev. Run for my children? YES. If they love what they are doing and they are making money doing it and they went far in education…GO FOR IT! AND they are keeping God at the head of their lives…they cant go wrong. Make mistakes, yes…but their lives are in the right hands.


    to “these posts are racist”
    I think you misunderstood what the Rev was sayin playa. He is not telling the average cat not to go to college, what he is saying is that in his family, people have opportunity. Rev got the opportunity to take a leave from college and never needed to return. Good for him, that doesn’t mean joe shmoe should drop out of school to pursue a pipe dream and end up as john doe on the “never made it scene.” He is simply sayin that his kids have access to what the rest of use will chase degrees and kiss ass to only dream of getting, so he’s telling them to cease that opportunity cuz it aint always gonna be there. Ain’t nothin racist about that, that’s smart and progressive if you ask me. Keep that guap in the family.

  • Anonymous

    Keeping it ’100′, yeah he got the ultimate connect. But he nice with it, I ain’t mad at all.

    If son was doo-doo, I would be screaming “HELL NAH”. But he ain’t fronting, and he’s driving in his own lane early.

    Diggy>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Justin Beiber

    • http://www.bboycult.com Don ‘$yk’ McCaine

      But this is a perfect example of that school conversation we were having last week.


    I agree with alot of ur comments but not with run’s. Yes I understand if an oppurtunity is knocking best believe u should take it life is all about taking risks. Last time I checked thou isn’t run REV Run now?? so why r u telling kids that its ok 2 drop from college 2 purse ur dreams and I kno he didn’t say that on wax but u kno thats wat he meant.

    like alot of u said ESPECIALLY the way this economy is u need a high school, college, and military degree just 2 get a fuckin job out here lol. never mind TRYING 2 purse a dream. and i think what these post r racist is tryin 2 say is ur suppose 2 find who u are in college while still enjoying it but focusing on being successful.

    High school is when u grow up college is really askin urself who am I? and where do I want 2 go in this world? Besides rev run and russell simmons been making millions and will continue with the family name they dont have any feelings 4 the poor or weak they could probably careless the way there living so of course they will make stupid comments like they did on this one…..fuck em run ain’t no reverend of mine i fucks with run dmc but ever since jay died shit has been down hill dont forget JAY IS RUN-DMC he made RUN-DMC…not the other way round….as far as diggy goes lil nigga got skillz but like we all kno the only reason he got signed is he got those connects in his pocket on the other hand where niggas who spit better than ur favorite rappers r dying 2 get those plugs and earn there way in……WE LIVE IN SO MUCH PAIN…..stay rightous and positive keep ur head up 2 my ppl in the struggle im right here with u. 1 love ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL DAY!


    While it is true that Diggy has the ultimate connect, and of course that played a part to him getting signed. The thing we’re not taking into consideration is his brother had the same connects and the same aspirations and no one could less about him. The only difference between him and his brother would be_________?


      While it is true that Diggy has the ultimate connect, and of course that played a part in him getting signed. The thing we’re not taking into consideration is that his brother has the same connects and the same aspirations and no one could care less about him. The only difference between him and his brother would be_________?

      • that nigga

        Exactly BIGSCREECH!!!

  • JayMillz

    What happened to his older brotha? In the show he was “on his grind” to become a rapper..
    Anybody know whats good w/ him?

  • Fon Z

    stop hating on da lil dude… aint nuthin wrong with having good connects, shit truth be told, we would all take advantage of it…

    here’s sumthin to piss some of yall niggaz off:
    Diggy >>>>>>> Gucci, Plies, Waka flocka

  • Pingback: Daily Recap – 3/25/10 at SNICKA



  • daydeezy

    please Pay Attention there dropping out to pursue what is successful “RIGHT NOW” not later, so if pastries making millions of course stop but if its not continue so it can make millions, and true dat diggy have the sweetest connect ever and jo jo, but hey i cant be mad because if my dad was michael jordan i would get chances to be in the nba , look at romeo i never seen him in a usc uniform, never seen highlights of whgy usc picked him , and the track not bad so do your thing diggy, “Its who you know” ” not always what you know”

  • NY+

    What’s the big deal with not going to college?

    In America, you really (mostly) only go to college to make more money. So in this case of his daughter she just did a “Pass Go and Collect $200″ move. College doesn’t equal knowledge, it’s education, you’re taught only what they teach. Knowledge must be search for.

    Besides that, JoJo signed to an indie, so it’s more than a “connect”, Diggy (currently) is seen to have more potential than JoJo, which is why Diggy got the major deal, plus a much bigger marketing tool.

    You should pursue your dreams, college is just an option not a necessity, especially with so many college grads never getting into their fields for years. So I have no idea what DJ ALL DAY is talkin’ about, you sound, well you know how you sound….

    • El Tico Loco

      I hear what you’re saying, but if you went to the hospital and the Doctor told you that he’s self taught and wasn’t spoon fed any of his knowledge in fact he reminds you he is still PRACTICING. Will you stay in that room? HELL NAW!! Would you want to be represented in court by the dude that read a few books in the law library and just came home from a bid his damn self? or an actual member of the bar? …thought so. After all Chris Rock’s neighbor supposed to be a dentist, he didn’t get there reading the back of a tube of Crest.

      You wanna talk about oppression? Why you think college is so expensive? (SMH @HBCU prices)to keep minoritites from achieving those type accomplishments which REQUIRE education, we talking professional shit not just a job, and no is not a guarantee you’ll be successful true enough, but like you said is an OPTION and when it comes to options the more the merrier, and when it comes to knowledge if that’s what you seek why limit your sources of it? How do you discern truth without looking at both sides of the coin? but with that said, anybody that knows themselves know where they fit in those that don’t know themselves and still live by the standards of others will struggle.

      • TakeitorLeaveit

        I agree to an extent…you know Dr.’s refer to their work as “Practice” anyway, right? Whether they are guru’s or not. Let’s be honest, Doctors can still get stuff wrong, no matter how long they have been working in that field.

  • r2j

    Let’s get the bad out the way first. I do think it
    is discouraging to have your own kids ditch school to chase millions of dollars. It’s kinda weird cause you don’t know how and when you’ll get see that kinda money. If i knew I would take money or get a degree. I would get the degree first then the money later. As an artist, Diggy should’ve made more songs to let people like us know that he is taking this very seriously. If he cam out with a mixtape, he probably would’ve gotten signed sooner than later. Is the industry that desperate to sign someone after 1 good song? REALLY?

    On the good, I can’t knock him for his recent
    accomplishment. He’s 15 years old and has a lot of potential ahead of him. I also heard Jojo’s rhymes on Drake’s “Over” Instrumental and it was
    not as good this kid’s song so it does make me wonder that if it took an 15 year old kid to rhyme that well then he rapped better than other
    rappers. WHICH SOUNDS ABSOLUTELY INSANE!!! Sure his Dad is Rev. Run but sometimes talent runs through the family. I’m sure we all watched Run’s House on MTV so I’m very sure that everyone thought that someone in his family was going to
    keep the music tradition going and it turns to
    be Diggy. Good luck to you young man and who knows? we might see him in XXL’s Freshman 11′
    or 12′ front cover. Sounds crazy right?

    • http://ivybetty.com IB

      he actually did come out with a mixtape first. Last year…

      rest of the post is good though…

      IF YOU HAVE CONNECTIONS, USE THEM. OF COURSE HIS FAMILY INFLUENCED HIS DEAL, BUT ATLANTIC DOESNT WANT THE “BUYING PUBLIC” to know that. Since when have labels NOT tried to control public perception with artists?

  • yoprince

    *skipping the college debate*

    that shit wack.

  • Anonymous

    people don’t go to college to learn the go to assure there job marketability and land a good career. College isn’t for everybody and doesn’t necessarily guarantee a great job or any success. He’s right for telling his girl to get that money it aint like she can’t continue one day. The most enlightened people in life are self taught and not spoon fed information.

  • mav

    yooo im likin that shit i expected some whackness but the youngn spitn you gotta love it when a youngster do that shit i guess that talent skipped over jojo diggy set o blow if he work hard

  • gkid12345

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s “signed” to Atlantic but all the marketing dollars and album budget is coming from uncle Russel and daddy run

  • these posts are racist

    It’s crazy how these cats don’t dig deep and try to understand what I’m saying. I didn’t say college guarantees success. I didn’t say one should not pursue an economically viable career if given the opportunity that doesn’t require a college education. What I believe is that no matter what your economic status is or whether you have a business that makes “millions”, education is invaluable.

    People of color lack power and wealth in this country. For us to gain power and heal the ills of the ghetto, we need wealth and power. We need people who care for our interests to be in positions of power. How many US presidents had college degrees? MBA’s? JD’s? How many sitting US senators, judges and other people in positions of power have high educations? How many Fortune 500 CEO’s have college educations? MBA’s? JD’s?

    Even if Rev Run views life and success as purely defined by money, it is a fact that Rev Run and his family have unique and rare opportunities that the majority of us normal people don’t have, period. Therefore Rev Run should qualify his statements about college and point out how rare his and his family’s position is and as such, he should encourage all others to go to college and pursue higher education at all costs…

    Think brothers…think.

    • daboy

      Oprah didnt graduate from college

  • Deuce53

    ok so everybody sayin college is the way to go…i guess u havent herd about anybody gettin outta college and usin that degree they worked so hard for and are now in debt becuz of and not being able to work or find employment cuz of it…maaan fuck that the kid is fifteen years old, if he got the talent or the connects to make money off wat he doin, then god bless…and if not, well each man’s life is only his life, nobody elses, let him make his mistakes or fortune as a man


  • Deuce53

    and im sorry to tell u education purists…but just cuz they call it “education” dont mean thats wat it is…ive never used anything related to geometry, biology, etc so on and so forth, in ANY of my life experiecnes, or my day to day life…i learned more going thru life and making my mistakes as a man then any fuckin book or teacher taught me for an hour at a time..

  • Face Phoenix

    It’s funny that he was mentioned on XXL but the truth behind this is… just because you have a “hot” flow doesn’t mean you can sell albums. It reminds me of what Lord Jamar and Sadat X was talking about on that “Don’t let it go to your Head”. So many young ppl think that music is just off the head when if fact many times it is a process of concepts and hooks that if you don’t have the talent to introduce something interesting and different or just tolerable you are going to be just a flash in the pan. Not to mention many ppl aren’t interested in buying a 60 mins of freestyles [esp. women]. If you look at any artist with any kind of longevity it usually stems from a core style and versatility. KRS One, LL, Too $hort and a few others show you why they sell – consistency. No amount of cash is going to turn straw into gold – you either have it or you don’t. We’ll just have to see in the case of Diggy. Will he shine or flounder like so many of the young lions in his age group?

  • abdulnasir

    word to TPAR! Do they still say that?

  • Munnie

    I like how it claims ” freestyle ” … shiiiiit he wishes

  • Avenger XL

    The American ideal of college is skewed. I agree that everyone needs as much education as possible but if you can gain experience and income from a skill set pre-college you should take that oppurtunity and or blessing while it is there because college will still be there if you fail. Not to mention not being weighed down with debt from jump.

    • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

      This is it right here…this sh*t is get in where you fit in…but you still gotta learn and experience life or you will never know HOW to live…Run already threw out the ‘don’t try this at home’ disclaimer…his son wants to try what his dad did, how can you knock that? With dad & uncle comes the connect, like really? We all strive for that position of hook up when it comes to putting our kids/family on. But who would you really want to show as an example to the 15 & under? Waka?

      This whole scenario with the Simmons kids probably started over a Coco Puffs conversation. Think about that.

  • Anonymous

    My thing is people always want to say he got connects, ok don’t we work extra hard so our kids can have more or a better chance at following their dreams, what’s wrong with having a connect if you have the talent, and I agree you can go to school anytime, he is not saying don’t go at all, but certain opportunities need to be handled immediately

  • sb

    i always thought diggy was run jr…

  • herbs

    boy got floww!!

  • b

    the kid could rap give him chance he will come up to b a great rapper

  • b

    year i just want to say 1 ting no 1 keep’s us down more than our self not the white man we just play right into there trap

  • JayBoogEnt

    I have to say the young can spit… I just pray that he can move some units…. He might be the next bow-wow..

  • Anonymous

    A friend of mine has a masters degree, and no job… school aint 4 eveybody

  • idk

    i luvvvvvvv diggy and i think he shuld do what he wants to do this is his life and yalls is just in it and u haters need to get out…. all i gotta say is keep doin what ya doin k digggggs

  • Pingback: Is Higher Education Worth It? Rev. Run Told Angela Simmons No. | Hip Hop vs America | BET.com