True Dat

A Run-act play starring the Simmons brothers, Russell and the Rev

RUN: You say that a lot.

RUSSELL: About Kimora?

RUN: You have a grievance with that?

Run, Russell, Run: The Simmons boys. Russell, at left--and Rev. Run--rehearse for their life's story.
Run, Russell, Run: The Simmons boys. Russell, at left--and Rev. Run--rehearse for their life's story.

RUSSELL: Constantly. Course I have a grievance with that. You out of your mind? My wife spends so much money.

RUN: Can you stop her?

RUSSELL: No, I can't stop her. (He laughs.) The honest truth? No, I can't. How about that?

RUN: I respect it. I can't stop anything either. I try.

RUSSELL: What, you try? I thought you said end of suffering, Buddhists, acceptance?

RUN: I talk to Kimora, and more and more she's sounding like you every day. I feel your influence on her. Give her more. Anyway. Sorry.

RUSSELL: The reverend's advice for the day.

RUN: Russell's house cost $16 million, and he didn't need it. His wife made him do it. See, he don't wanna hear it. You only need yourself.

RUSSELL: But what do I do? How do I sleep better? I give away a lot. I enjoy it, and I think that's the only way I'm gonna survive. Not personally, my own shit. If I'm gonna have any happiness here, it's gonna be because I enjoy working with other people and I learned something else.

RUN: I have a philosophy about that.

RUSSELL: What about that, Reverend?

RUN: That you've been giving your whole life. You've given us hip-hop...

RUSSELL (interrupting): You always say that.

RUN: Russell says he's been greedy his whole life. Not greedy, really, but self-consumed.

RUSSELL (grinning): Selfish. A selfish son of a bitch.

RUN: But I found through my studies--I read all day long--I found that Russell has been giving his whole life.

Russell pushes away from the table. He stands up, then bends forward and folds himself in half, yoga-style. He lets out a small sigh. Run ignores him and continues.

RUN: Why has he been giving his whole life? Because he gave us Run-DMC, gave us Jay-Z, gave us the Beastie Boys. He gave us. So in the midst of his taking, he's been giving. His thing is now, "I'm gonna start giving," and I want him to know, as my older brother, that he's been giving his whole life, and he's never stopped giving. For him igniting other people's careers, in turn, he's been rewarded...

RUSSELL: I helped support other selfish motherfuckers. (He laughs.) Naw, I'm just playin'.

Russell talks politics for a while, about the president and the reasons for war with Iraq. Again, note to actors: This can be improvised, but it needs to be made clear Russell is against war with Iraq. It must pick up with the following.

RUSSELL: I'm not angry about anything. I'm passionate. I believe in going to work every single day with my head down, no matter how good or bad the situation is. At the end of the day, I don't wanna say, "I made three, I lost two." I don't wanna attach myself to results in my work. I just wanna do the work. I do love to see moves in the right direction, but I don't get all excited and dance on the table when shit goes well, and I don't get upset when things go badly. Sameness as much as possible.

RUN (singing): When you can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams, then you're young at heart. (Speaking) Gotta be able to laugh.

RUSSELL: Reverend, thank you for that.

RUN: Bob Marley said something very important: Don't let nobody pick you up too high or bring you down too low. Sameness. Sameness.

RUSSELL: Everything I do is about giving and about being compassionate and giving back to people and stop being selfish.

JOURNALIST: Was that all about the awakening several years ago--going to yoga, becoming vegan?

RUSSELL: Yoga, I went there for the pussy. I used to go because there were so many girls who were fine in the class.

RUN: Are you proud of that fact?

RUSSELL: That was a good way to start. Steve Ross, my first yoga teacher, told me, "Look at that girl's ass."

RUN: I gotta breathe when Russell starts talking about stuff like this, because he told me it's OK to do whatever he wants.

RUSSELL: That's not true, Joey. I don't know why you always say that.

RUN: I feel like you feel proud of your inconsistencies.

RUSSELL: No, I try to move...

RUN (interrupting): You rationalize a lot of things, correct? Not a lot.

RUSSELL: No, Joe. I know it's wrong to get indiscriminate pussy. I don't think it's right. I'm not promoting it as a positive thing.

Lunch arrives. Russell asks for more tomato sauce. Run takes one of Journalist's veggie patties. Russell and Run talk about going into business with each other for a little while. They are eating and arguing, but playfully.

JOURNALIST (to Run): Why didn't you have a good time on the Aerosmith-Kid Rock tour?

RUN: I did well. I did well.

RUSSELL: Tell him who you were.

RUN: What I told you this morning? That I was a tyrant?

RUSSELL: No. That, too, but...

RUN: What are you talking about, Russell?

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