Interview: Russell Simmons to Speak in Cleveland

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Hip-hop/fashion mogul Russell Summons will appear at Barnes & Noble Eaton (28801 Chagrin Blvd., 216-765-7520) Thursday June 14 at 7 p.m. The co-founder of Def Jam records and founder of Phat Farm clothing will answer questions and sign his new book, Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success. Simmons took a call from Scene to talk about the book. After over 25 years at the top of the business, his legendary mind and mouth are quicker than ever. Scene: You have as much money as anybody, so what are you working for at this point? Simmons: I didn’t do it for the money. The book benefits… I have quite a few charities, and they’re run out of my office, and I’m proud of the work they do. And it promotes good karma, peacefulness in myself - giving makes you happy and whole. But there’s nothing better than lifting consciousness. I want kids to know not to be so bent on worldly things and worldly success. When they connect, that will promote happiness. Money doesn’t make happiness; happiness makes money. And by the way, every law that I have there, I fuck up. I make mistakes every day. But I’m trying to fix the world. Scene: What can we learn from book? Simmons: The book has basic ideas that we already know. The ideas can ring a bell in your heart, that you can follow, and have faith in what you know. You already know that you are here to serve. You can find that opportunity to look inside you and find that piece of God, that strength, that freedom that allows you to be a greater contributor. Scene: Your book lists twelve rules to succeed. But how can you recognize when you’re going in the wrong direction? Simmons: Meditation will teach you. Always. Stillness is good. Then you look in your heart. The prophets all told you to look in your heart. God is inside you - that’s the idea. That’s the practice, whether it’s Christ or Nirvana or what the Yogis taught. When you’re in union with God, you have no interest about your worries or noise. Scene: Why come to Cleveland? Simmons: I like Cleveland. It’s alright. There’s a lot of poverty in Cleveland, a lot of struggle. My book was number two on the business bestseller list. That’s great, and maybe it’s crossing over, but the real truth is: I want it to work for the people. It’s written in such a way that everybody can digest it, I hope. It’s simple. -- D.X. Ferris

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