Hip Hop Guru Russell Simmons

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For years now they've called mega-millionaire entrepreneur Russell Simmons the CEO of hip hop, and it doesn't take a finance major to see why.

Def Jam Records is his baby. So were Run DMC, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, Ludacris, Def Comedy, Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy's comeback, and on and on. He's sold fashion, and ideas, and energy drinks — and most of all the black urban attitude of hip hop into the American mainstream.

Now he's pausing for yoga, and trying to rein in the kind of raw language that made his career and got Don Imus fired.

This hour On Point: hip-hop guru, Russell Simmons.

Quotes from the Show:

"I've been a servant of hip hop from its beginning." Russell Simmons

"It's always good to be part of a giving cycle." Russell Simmons

"Money and giving is not the issue here. The issue is peace. As you know more, you do more." Russell Simmons

"I believe [Summons] smacks of hypocrisy." Listener from Malden, Mass.

"An artist shouldn't have to be part of a censorship process." Russell Simmons

"The content of rap music will always be offensive. ... But it's critical that the truth come out." Russell Simmons

"I really appreciate Mr. Simmons' positiveness ... but he has an inability to see the reality." Listener from Iowa


Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records, author of "Do You! "

This program aired on May 4, 2007.


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