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The Worldview of Hip-Hop Mogul Russell Simmons

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Russell Simmons
(Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

 

For hip-hop fans, Russell Simmons is a god. He managed Run-D.M.C. in the group’s glory days (his brother is Rev Run from the group), co-founded Def Jam Records, and helped launch the careers of countless stars including The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy.

Simmons later took that business acumen to television, the clothing business, the media and advertising world, and even the banking space. He always seems to have his hand in something, the sign of a true entrepreneur.

He recently sat down with LinkedIn’s executive editor Daniel Roth to talk about his successful business practices and sometimes controversial worldview. RealClearLife has curated some of the best excerpts from the interview the business networking site conducted with Simmons:

On the Music Industry

“[Music] artists are now big brands. The emotional attachment you get with a client or music fan allows you access to do a lot of things. Most artists are making as much money now as they could have made [back] in the heyday of Def Jam [when the] Beastie Boys would sell 10 million records or DMX would sell 6 or 7 million records.”

On His Own Success

“Success is happiness. People say, ‘Oh, that sounds corny.’ No matter how rich you are, you can only sit your ass in one seat at a time. You have to be comfortable in that seat.”

On Life Itself

“You know, every day I say the same thing: You just have to smile and breathe. You do the best you can with what you have and that’s it….You’ve got to do things that promote what’s important. I don’t miss a day of yoga. I don’t miss my meditation. I don’t miss the things that kind of move me towards the more present state of mind[.]”

For more from Simmons, click here.