Recording industry mogul Russell Simmons is celebrating more than thirty years in the business. Co-founding Def Jam Records in 1983, Simmons is world-renown for expanding his horizons, using his wealth and influence to push for positive changes.
From his humble beginnings in Queens, N.Y., Simmons worked to rise above a problem he saw early on: The influence of drugs in urban neighborhoods predominately populated by people of color.
“I was very fortunate to get out,” says Simmons in his Steppin’ Out Radio interview. “A lot of my friends were victims of the drugs that filled our community.”
Simmons recalls how drug use in such neighborhoods would go beyond recreational use, and become a tragic business, especially in his home neighborhood of Hollis.
“We had a huge heroin block on the corner where people bought and sold heroin all over Queens. It destroyed a lot of lives and devastated the neighborhood.”
Today, Simmons continues to advocate healthy living on personal, community and global scales. A long-time advocate of veganism, Simmons now has a book, The Happy Vegan, on sale with three other New York Times bestsellers to his credit.
On The Internet: