Russell Simmons Talks Producing Reality Shows, Business And Courtney Love
Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons sounds off on his creative whims and apologizes for calling Kurt Cobain's widow a "crackhead."
From the days of Krush Groove and managing Kurtis Blow and well through the 90’s, Russell Simmons has had his finger on the collective pulse of Hip Hop. But as times have changed, and Simmons says he’s using a different medium these days.
“I found that reality shows are really good places to inspire people, uplift them, or give them good ideas,” Simmons told Lee Hawkins of the Wall Street Journal. “They’re not being used as vehicles for that so much. I thought that I might be able to do a reality show and speak about animal rights, gay rights and issues in the hood. We cover all those subjects and more.”
Simmons previously produced his brother’s reality show, “Run’s House,” as well as his ex-wife’s series, “Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane.” In addition to promoting his Rush Card as well as his Phat Farm and Argyleculture fashion lines, Simmons says he’s no longer a music mogul.
“I’ve been out of the music business for a long time,” Simmons admitted. “I really don’t know what to do with iTunes. I don’t know any more than the people in the record business do. It’s not something I can comment on.”
One topic Simmons recently commented on drew the ire of actor and Hole singer Courtney Love. After nude pictures of Love surfaced via Twitter, Simmons told the New York Post, “I think she is a sweet girl... It’s probably exciting to be a crackhead.” Simmons later issued an apology and made reference to his own cocaine use, which was chronicled in his memoir Life And Def.
“My joke about Courtney Love was more about me than Courtney,” Simmons explained. “She is a talented, sweet girl who, like me and everyone else, is in constant reform. I’ve been calling her but haven’t been able to reach her yet. I hope she still considers me a friend.”