Russell Simmons Explains Involvement With Occupy Wall Street

Iconic Hip Hop contributor Russell Simmons tells ThisIs50 how his income shouldn't stop him from sympathizing with the 99 percent.

Through his involvement with Def Jam, Phat Farm and his other business ventures, you can make a solid case for Russell Simmons being closer to the 1% of the nation’s most wealthy than the people currently participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Simmons was seen visiting Occupy New York with Kanye West, Katy Perry, Angela Davis and others. And he addressed those who have a problem with his presence in a recent interview with ThisIs50.

“What the fuck…do I gotta be that selfish?” Simmons quipped. “It’s okay to run a charity and give back and everybody applauds you. But you can’t go down and show solidarity to people that are suffering? You can’t want a better America just because you’re an American and you want not only America but the world to be a better place?”

Simmons also noted that some of the people drawing ire from occupiers are in a tough position. He cited his own example of manufacturing some of his clothes in Hong Kong, which presumably outsources labor and costs less than domestic manufacturing.

“I make some in America…it’s a struggle,” Simmons explained. “I’m competing with people making their stuff in Thailand and Hong Kong and other places.”

RELATED: Kanye West & Russell Simmons Lend Support To Occupy Wall Street Protestors

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10 Comments

  • nibs

    what a hypocritical dick cheese

  • K:O:S

    Double standard!!!!! Acting like he care, attention seeking whore! And then goes on to say he gets his clothes made in Hong Kong! He could easily do it in US, he would make less money yes, but then there would be action behind his words! Jay-Z is a bitch ass too! With his t-shirts occupy all streets! Just trying to benifit from people really trying to make a better world! Theres no action behind his words too!

  • Danette Chavis

    NO DOUBT INDEED RUSSELL SIMMONS HAS "PLENTY OF MONEY". IS THAT A CRIME TO HAVE LOT'S AND LOT'S OF MONEY? YOU PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHO TO "LIKE" WHO TO "HATE" AND WHO'S "FOR" OR "AGAINST YOU". YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT A MAN COMING DOWN TO THE PARK SIMPLY CAUSE HE'S "RICH" AND DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MAN INTENDED TO DO "FOR THAT OCCUPATION"! DID IT EVER OCCUR TO YOU THAT HE INTENDED TO DONATE HIS RESOURCES? DID IT EVER OCCUR TO YOU THAT "PEOPLE RUNNING THEIR MOUTHS" IS WHAT HAD DETERRED HIM? WHO BELIEVES HE CAME DOWN THERE "SEEKING ATTENTION"? THEIR "POOR PEOPLE" HE CAME TO SEE - WHY ON EARTH WOULD HE SEEK THE ATTENTION OF "THE POOR"? WHAT IS IT, THAT THEY COULD POSSIBLY DO "FOR HIM"!? THEIR "BROKE" "POOR" AND MANY ARE "HOMELESS". SO HOW IS IT THAT YOU'VE IMAGINED HE NEEDS ANYTHING FROM THEM? IT IS ONE THING TO BE POOR, BUT "POOR" AND "IGNORANT" MATCHED WITH "STUPIDITY" WILL LEAVE YOU POOR, BROKE AND "ON YOUR OWN". SIMPLY, BECAUSE YOU WAS "TOO STUPID" TO REALIZE "HELP" WHEN IT ARRIVED.

  • Mr Flamboyant

    (shaking my head) This nigga needs his ass kicked. Never have I seen a douchbag such as this nigga. He's one that supports due to his own convenience and benefit. Attention seeking ass. Man go someone and leave everyone alone. The same nigga who made those terrible ass Rush cards that honed on the ignorance of the youth all under the guise of "ownership" and "buying power" is the same nigga wondering why people look at him like he's a gatdamn fool for being there. I'm not usually for wishing harm on anyone...but man for this imp I'd make an exception. Sold hip hop out for the buck and the beat marches on. And you wonder why Rick Rubin doesn't have ish to do with ya slimeball ass and why Def Jam turned to utter shit. F'n cornball.

  • sleep

    why cant kanye support OWS? he maid his money from his art. russell has a visa card so he is one of them. If their mad at kanye cause hes rich then i dont supports their movement. From my understanding their mad at the banks not just people who are rich. What is Kanye suppose to do? make money from college droupout and them donate all the money he makes after that.

    • Anonymous

      Who can stand that fucking nigga Kanye and his trendy bullshit, it aint that kind of show, out with this nigga!!!! Russell has beed an activist, giving hip hop itself a voice when no one was interested, so if he has something intelligent to say let him speak it!!

  • Anonymous

    What?.....Okay whatever this actually makes no sense this nigga is begging for attention.

  • Manny Faces

    No. People like Kanye, 50, Russell Brand, Katy Perry, Al Sharpton and most of all, Russell Simmons, need to NOT be in the streets. They are so arrogant to think that their support a) can help, b) means anything, when in actuality, it only reinforces the general public's idea that celebrities and activists are simply attention-whores. If they really want to help the movement, they should lay in the cut. Donate some money quietly, etc., but "showing solidarity" is either a bullshit PR stunt, or will be perceived as such. In either case, it does nothing to actually help the movement.

  • thought dog

    This guy is so far removed from reality. He needs to just sit in one of his mansions and shut the fuck up.

  • sleep

    fuck this hypocrite and his rush card. Rush card charge people the same fees that big bank and financial institution do. oh, the rush card has a visa logo. So fuck is this dude trying act like he understand these kids issues. He says the rush card is to empower people, how the fuck is having a prepaid card empowering people. You want to empower kids in the hood, open some centers in the hood with free classes to teach these people how money and credit works. I don't know this for a fact, but I will go out on a limb and say not one person with a rush card graduated college.

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