MEDIA

Russell Simmons Hits Back At Geraldo Rivera Over Criticism Of Hip Hop

02/19/2015 02:52 pm ET

Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons has some strong words for Fox News' Geraldo Rivera and his comments about hip hop damaging the lives of black people.

"[Rivera] used to be a progressive, he used to do good work and help people. Now he's just a talking head," Simmons told TMZ. "He hasn't done shit to help no body, not in a very long time. But he used to do something -- 30, 40 years ago -- but he's not relevant no more."

Despite calling Simmons a "dear friend" during an interview with HuffPost Live on Tuesday, Rivera accused the hip-hop mogul of encouraging "people to be so different from the mainstream" that they can only work entry-level jobs. He also said that hip hop "has been very destructive culturally" and "done more damage to black and brown people than racism in the last 10 years."

"He lost on '[Celebrity] Apprentice,' man, I can't respect that," Simmons said. "After losing he needs to just talk. He needs to get himself relevant."

Simmons also accused Rivera of fundamentally misunderstanding hip-hop culture.

"The prison industrial complex has got people so twisted," he said. "For 40 years, they've been locking up diseased drug addicts, educating them in criminal behavior and dumping them back in the hood."

"The poetry is a reflection of what comes from that, that jail culture," Simmons continued. "That's obvious."

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS