Russell Simmons speaks on “jail culture” and the prison-industrial complex while responding to Geraldo Rivera’s recent comments on Hip Hop.
After being approached by TMZ while in Hollywood, California this week, Russell Simmons was asked to share his thoughts on Geraldo Rivera’s comments about Hip Hop being “destructive culturally.” According to Simmons, who Rivera referred to as “a dear friend” during his interview with Huffington Post Live, the real problem lies with the prison-industrial complex and “jail culture.”
In regards to Rivera, the Def Jam Records co-founder suggested that due to his recent loss on “Celebrity Apprentice,” the Fox News contributor needs to stay relevant in some way or another.
“Geraldo, the prison-industrial complex got people so twisted,” Russell Simmons said. “For 40 years, they’ve been locking up diseased drug addicts, educating them on criminal behavior, and dumping them back in the hood. The poetry is a reflection of what comes from that. That jail culture. That’s obvious. And Geraldo after just losing he needs to talk. He needs to get himself relevant…He used to be a progressive. He used to do good work and help people. Now he’s just a talking head. He hasn’t done shit to help nobody in a very long time. But he used to do something 30, 40 years ago. But he’s not relevant no more.”
While appearing on Huffington Post Live this week, Rivera stated that, “Hip Hop has done more damage to black and brown people than racism in the last 10 years,” and continued to criticize the Hip Hop community.
“I love Russell Simmons, he’s a dear friend of mine,” Rivera said during his interview. “I admire his business acumen. At some point, those guys have to cop to the fact that by encouraging this distinctive culture that is removed from the mainstream, they have encouraged people to be so different from the mainstream that they can’t participate other than the racks in the garment center, those entry-level jobs. And I lament it, I really do. I think that it has been really destructive culturally.”