Reporting and technical writing. Saturday - Oct 16, 2021

Russell Simmons: Reality TV Good for My Kids

I spoke with the ‘hip-hop entrepreneur’ about his spiritual quest, his new book and his daughters’ reality TV show.

Russell Simmons is always busy and pretty hard to get a hold of so this was a phoner and of course the call dropped a couple of times. It would’ve been worse if it was for radio or podcast but this was just for an online Q&A so our conversation was candid and casual. He’s actually an interesting person to learn a lot from so I appreciated talking for as long as we did.

Online I lead the piece with, “Russell Simmons revolutionized both rap music and hip-hop fashion by growing them from marginal street fads to mainstream must-haves, starting with the record label he co-founded (Def Jam) and his clothing line (Phat Farm). Now 50 and pretty much retired from both worlds, hip-hop’s original businessman is focused on charities and empowerment causes. Simmons spoke with about his politics, his recent book Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success, his fortune and his little princesses.”

I thought the interview’s funniest moment was this:

Q: What in your book is new and fresh?
A: [Laughs ] Nothing! … Did Muhammad say something that Jesus didn’t say or that Abraham didn’t say before him? I’m not suggesting I’m one of those people, but [it’s about] obvious truths. You already have everything you need.

Read on