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In any new business someone has to have visionRussell Simmons pg 221 A vision is exactly what Russell Wendell Simmons had when he first started in the music business Russell Simmons the original and eternal hip-hop mogul is one of the most innovative and influential figures in modern American business and culture When no one outside of inner-city New York had even heard of hip-hop Simmons saw the seeds of a global force that would change the way people talk dress listen to music and choose the heroes they hung on their walls Simmons is the founder or cofounder of numerous successful companies and philanthropic organizations including Def Jam Records Phat Farm clothing the dRush Advertising Agency and Rush Philanthropic At the same time he has broadened his interests and influence and pushed hip-hop to new plateaus of power Russell Simons is an inspiration to contemporary young man because he is a gifted entrepreneur in the American music comedy and fashion industry Russell Simmons did not invent rap but he is more than any other individual responsible for the musics astonishing success As a young man he heard a thriving vibrant music in the ghettos and solid middle-class black neighborhoods like his own and turned it up If Simmons had not mainstreamed rap someone else certainly would have The music was too potent too necessary to smoke without catching fire The point is that Simmons lit the match According to Simmons book Life and Def Sex Drugs Money God he was born in Queens New York He was one of three brothers and he was very ambitious and energetic His father was a well-educated forceful and vibrant man while his mother was sly creative and strong-willed When Russell was fourteen he sold marijuana on 205th street as many of his friends did As he entered adolescence in the early 70s heroin usage was a dominant part of life in Hollis a neighborhood within Queens
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