Raising Voices of Courage and Conscience Honoring Russell Simmons
This special event will feature Muslim poets, musicians and comedians who have been given support and opportunities by Simmons, including political comedian and commentator Dean Obeidallah and rising musician and Def Jam Poet Amir Sulaiman.
Russell Simmons was born in Queens, New York. After a brief stint at City College of New York, Simmons left school to promote local musicians, including Kurtis Blow. In 1984, he and partner Rick Rubin founded Def Jam Recordings, creating the foundation for the cultural revolution known as hip hop. As the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, Simmons is best known for launching the careers of artists such as the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Run D.M.C. His Rush Communications firm also included Phat Farm clothing comany, television shows, a management company, a magazine and an advertising agency. His movie production house has produced such films as Krush Groove and The Nutty Professor.