Russell Simmons

American entrepreneur and record executive

Russell Wendell Simmons (born 4 October 1957) is an American entrepreneur, record executive, writer, and film producer. He is chairman and CEO of Rush Communications, co-founded the hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings, and created the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture, and Tantris.

Simmons in 2012


  • [As a vegan] I feel better, I look better, so it’s a big change for me. You have more clarity and I think that all of us want to be more clear. I wanted to look younger and feel better and wanted to be a greater contributor to the good on the planet […] The more I learned about factory farming… the more I realized that I could not, in good conscience, be a contributor to such violence.

Quotes about Russell Simmons

  • especially in the last years where I was really active at the (Nuyorican Poets) Cafe, everyone came in and just wanted to be a star. And I shouldn’t lay blame, but Russell Simmons who came around with the Def Poets and all that. “Come with me. I’ll take you to Broadway! I’ll put you on TV! Everyone will see you on TV!” It kind of polluted the intent of what we were doing. That kind of twisted the mindset, just undermined the real purpose and value of the writing, of the creative act. Because you don’t do it to be on TV. You do it for you, because you have to do it! Initially, that was the intent. We have to have this community! We have to share our voices. Nobody else out here is listening, so we’ll make our community. And that’s what it was about.
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