Simmons Bangs Drum for Black Entrepreneurs

Russell Simmons thrives during market mayhem
By Michael Roston,  Newser User
Posted Oct 18, 2008 10:20 AM CDT
Russell Simmons listens during the panel discussion at the National Hip-Hop Summit 'Turn Up The Vote' event on April 20th, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – For the "Godfather of Hip-Hop," success on the streets is like winning in business: It's "all about believing in your vision," Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons tells the Economist. Now the music-mogul-turned-financier is trying to inspire go-getters with a new bestseller, Do You!—which he calls “the same shit you get in any other book—a little bit mystical, but really about going to work every day and keeping your head down."

Simmons is also dangling a prize for film, music, and fashion entrepreneurs that he hopes will inspire young blacks. When he's not doing the college circuit, urging students to stay in school, he helps by funding arts education for the needy and selling a "Black Rush" pre-paid charge card for those ignored by traditional financial institutions. “This card is meant to get people laid," says Simmons, "get them feeling dignity."