Russell Simmons is a famous Hip Hop entrepreneur with a net worth of $340 Million. He was raised in Queens, New York and grew up with two brothers, one of which was Rev Run of Run-DMC. His dive into the music industry didn’t begin until he enrolled in the City College of New York in 1975. There is where he met Kurt Walker, a DJ who exposed him to Hip Hop which was still a new genre at the time.
One of his biggest accomplishments was co-founding Def Jam Recordings in 1983 with Rick Rubin. In 1988, he worked with more new talents, which made the Def Jam label one of the most successful hip-hop labels of that time. The next year, Universal Music Group purchased a share of ‘Def Jam for the price of $100 million. After the deal, Universal Music Group merged with Island Records to become The Island Def Jam Music Group. Simmons is also the CEO of Rush Communications Inc., which runs over ten business and three non-profits.
Besides his successful music career and entrepreneurial efforts, Simmons is also an activist for gay-rights, animal rights, and advocates for Ahimsa and veganism. In 2009, he organized thousands of protestors including Hip Hop celebrities to demand change of harsh sentencing because of the Rockefeller Drug Laws.
Russell participated in a documentary series earlier this year called Too Old To Die Young, which showcases the lives of urban culture’s legendary figures. It’s definitely an interesting watch.
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