Russell Simmons

We travel to Indonesia to sit down with Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records, at his home in Bali. The music mogul reminisces on his career, highlighting his decision to drop out of college, the experience of working alongside Rick Rubin, and how Def Comedy Jam bolstered the Def Jam brand. Plus, Simmons breaks his silence on sexual assault allegations made against him, acknowledging past insensitivity but denying ever partaking in violent or non-consenting behaviors. Simmons goes on to address Oprah’s departure from the film On the Record, detail his current legal dispute with his ex-wife, and explain how his move to Bali has given him ‘a new lease on life.’

Russell Simmons


Russell Simmons: $2,000 gift launched my career

 Entrepreneur and record executive Russell Simmons reflects on childhood memories of his parents. He recalls his mother’s tough-yet-loving parenting style, her unwavering support during the early stages of his career and her long battle with cancer.

Russell Simmons on quitting drugs, cigarettes and booze in 1 day

 Co-founder of Def Jam Records Russell Simmons recalls his past involvement with drugs, including memories of taking LSD every Friday in high school, facing arrest for dealing fake cocaine and ultimately quitting his substance use cold turkey. He also addresses his brother’s struggle with drug addiction and reveals why he called their attic the “rocket ship.” Later, Simmons shares insights into his experience as a gang member, recounting the time he nearly killed someone.

Russell Simmons on launching Beastie Boys, Run-DMC to stardom

 Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records, reminisces on the early days of his career, beginning with his bold decision to drop out of college and work as a party promoter. He also discusses his passion for hip-hop and highlights his knack for identifying and guiding talented musicians towards success.

Russell Simmons: Why Will Smith wrote me a check for $250,000

 Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records, speaks about his relationship with Will Smith, sharing moments from their time producing music together and the reason behind Smith writing him a $250,000 check. Simmons also recalls notable memories with his co-founder, Rick Rubin, including their initial meeting, a night spent listening to beats in Rubin’s NYU dorm room and co-producing their first record for LL Cool J. Later, he highlights important relationships he had made outside of the music industry, including those with Brian Grieser and Tommy Hilfiger.

Russell Simmons: Donald Trump was my man, until he wasn’t

 Russell Simmons reflects on his past relationship with Donald Trump, describing their connection as being built upon a “toxic masculine bond.” Simmons also reveals why their relationship came to a halt, offers his opinion on Trump’s presidency and describes how progressivism and compassion guide his political stance.

Russell Simmons: Selling Def Jam while $13M in debt

Co-founder of Def Jam Records, Russell Simmons reveals his inspiration for creating Def Comedy Jam, a comedy television series that propelled the careers of numerous renowned comedians such as Tiffany Haddish, Dave Chappelle and Steve Harvey. Additionally, Simmons reflects on Def Jam’s departure from Sony, discusses valuable business lessons learned from Trump and shares his key to success.

Russell Simmons: My ex-wife stole millions to bail out her criminal husband

 Record executive, Russell Simmons opens up about his tumultuous relationship with his ex-wife, Kimora Lee Simmons. Simmons details his ongoing lawsuit against her, which alleges the misappropriation of stocks to fund the bail for her now-husband, Tim Leissner.

Russell Simmons breaks silence on allegations

 Russell Simmons breaks his silence on the sexual assault allegations made against him. While admitting to being involved in “compromising situations,” as well as being insensitive at times, the music mogul denies accusations of ever being violent, unconsenting or forceful. He also goes on to express support for the Me Too Movement, addresses Oprah’s departure from the film On The Record and discusses the notion of a “gray area.” 

Russell Simmons: The proudest moment in my career

 Music mogul Russell Simmons discusses the cultural significance of hip-hop music and reveals his plans to celebrate the genre’s 50th birthday. Simmons also speaks on how hip-hop can be used as a tool for education and advocacy, in areas ranging from anti-gang work to the promotion of financial literacy.

Tour Russell Simmons’ Bali estate, 5-star resort, villa designed for Snoop Dogg

We’re with co-founder of Def Jam Records, Russell Simmons, as he gives us a tour of his home in Bali. After offering a glimpse into his living space and yoga shala, Simmons opens up about the profound healing impact that living in Bali has had on him. Afterwards, we check out his newly-established Health and Wellness Resort, Gdas Bali, which features a luxurious private villa dubbed the “Snoop Dogg House.

Meditation with Russell Simmons: “A quiet mind can’t suffer”

Join us in Bali, where music mogul Russell Simmons guides Graham through a series of meditative practices, including a mantra-based meditation and a hot yoga practice. We hear from Simmons on the benefits of these practices, with the most important of which being the promotion of inner peace. Following their yoga class, the two stop for a snack, and Simmons shares why mangosteen fruit is a staple in his daily diet.

Russell Simmons: Convincing Beyonce and Jay-Z to go vegan

We sit down for a meal with music mogul Russell Simmons at his world-class vegan restaurant in Bali. Reflecting on his 25 years of veganism, Simmons recalls the conversation with his gurus that inspired him to make the dietary change and shares how a conversation with Jay Z and Beyonce motivated them to follow in his footsteps. Finally, he discusses the positive health impacts of veganism and offers helpful tips for newcomers to the lifestyle.

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