Five Things You Didn’t Know About Russell Simmons

4th Annual Stay In School Pep Rally & Concert

Russell Simmons is more than just a man. He has become a sort of social icon. He helped usher in rap as we now know it, and turned that music genre into a business unto itself. Self made, self driven, and still changing the world, we wanted to take a moment to explore the insane life and times of Russel Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam records. This man has already done it all, and still doesn’t seem intent on stopping anytime soon. You may know he helped launched he first real rap label, but did you know….

(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Mindless Behavior At Universal CityWalk For The Premiere Of "All Around The World" & A Performance Presented By Target

His Father was a Teacher: Perhaps it was seeing that drive in his Father to inspire the youth, he decided he wanted to as well. He just decided to do it in an entirely different way.  Russell has educated the youth of the world with music and knowledge, and it seems that runs in his blood. Who knew?

(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Mindless Behavior)

2011 Friars Club Comedy Film Festival - Outstanding Achievement In Comedy Award Presentation

He Shot at Someone: During an attempted robbery when Simmons was sixteen, he shot at someone who was trying to rob him. He was subsequently put on probation.   In those days when he did stuff like that was part of what pushed him to build a better life. He didn’t want to end up like another statistic. Dead or in jail. He wanted to flip the script, and that is just what he did.

(Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)

4th Annual Stay In School Pep Rally & Concert

The Movie Krush Groove Is Based on His Life: Yes, Krush Groove. One of the best eighties “rap” movies ever, is based somewhat loosely around his precocious teenage years and the eventual steps he took toward building a music empire. Funny thing is, I still watch Krush Groove. Just to bug out at all the younger versions of the MC’s we all grew up with an loved. Amazing to see them as kids.

(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

2008 BET Hip-Hop Awards - Show

Devoted to Yoga and the Teachings of Deepak Chopra: Russell Simmons considers himself a very spiritual soul, and the teachings of Deepak Chopra in particular are hugely inspirational to him. Well, it seems whatever he believed in worked, because he has achieved some monumental things in his lifetime.

(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BET)

Russell Simmons "Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple"

Some Think He May Take A Political Turn At Some Point: The term “Mayor of New York” has been thrown around about him on a few occasions, though they are said to be just rumors and nothing more. Russell Simmons claims he has no political aspirations at this point, but whose to say what he really has in mind.

The truth is, Russell Simmons was a kid from the Bronx who grew up knowing he wanted more, and helping to open the doors for others to do the same. From Fresh Prince to Public Enemy, many of the most renowned names in the business would not be the household names they are today were it not for Russell Simmons and his unparalleled vision and drive.

(Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

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