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Regina N. Barnett

was born Joseph Lloyd Simmons in Jamaica, Queens, New York, the youngest of three sons of Daniel Simmons, a teacher and public school administrator, and Evelyn Simmons, an artist. Simmons would become famous as Run of the legendary hip-hop group Run-D.M.C. Joseph Simmons grew up in the Hollis section of Queens, New York. He enjoyed listening to music on the radio at an early age, and his father supplied him with a drum set to support his interest. As a teenager, Simmons learned to be a DJ from his childhood friend Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels. When his older brother, Russell, became the promoter and manager of Curtis Walker (also known as Kurtis Blow), Simmons began to experiment with rhymes using Walker's lyrical style as an example; he eventually had the opportunity to DJ for Kurtis Blow in 1978. Russell's friends named Joe “DJ Run” ...