By Jon Roe
The cover of Distortion depicts Run, of Run DMC fame, standing on top of a rock with a flaming city in the background. Maybe it’s meant as a metaphor but rather than lending some grand meaning to the album, it frames it in a perfectly ridiculous way. Though not terrible in any sense, Distortion ends up being slightly comical.
When an artist grows old in the music industry, they risk becoming irrelevant. Rev Run–who added the Rev to his name when he became an ordained priest–has reached this advanced stage in his career. Distortion is short, with only 10 tracks, the longest being the opener “I Used to Think I was Run” clocking in at 3:07. “Smoked a lot of cheebs and he drank much wine/One day Joey had to stop his scheme/Got a revelation and he came back clean” rhymes Run on the track “High and Mighty Joe” detailing his life. As short as the album is, you wonder why it was necessary to make it at all. With such a great legacy as a pioneer of hip-hop, why risk ruining it with such a mediocre offering? Perhaps Rev wants to bestow some light on his gangster fans, warning them of the danger of smoking too many cheebs and drinking too much wine. Repent, ye!
Distortion’s interior features varying scenes with Rev Run in his amusing black top hat and cape screaming at the camera, warning us of the apocalypse, represented by the burning city. It is indeed an apocalypse of sorts, the impending end of a notably long rap career.