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Tag: Russell Simmons (1-3 of 3)

Russell Simmons on his new YouTube channel and the controversial 'Harriet Tubman Sex Tape'

Russell Simmons is no stranger to controversy: Over the course of his career as the business mastermind behind outlets like Def Jam Records and Def Comedy Jam, he’s gotten plenty of heat over content that was considered edgy, political, and vulgar. As he notes, “They almost shut down my company over Public Enemy.”

But the swirl of negativity surrounding Harriet Tubman Sex Tape, one of the shorts that is a part of his just-launched All Def Digital channel on YouTube, was too much. The piece, which depicted the famous titular abolitionist bedding an older white man she refers to as “Massa,” was taken down—though not without considerable hand-wringing from Simmons.

“For my entire life, I have been protective of artistic freedom and protective of artists,” he told EW via phone. “In the history of Def Comedy Jam or Def Poetry Jam or Def Jam Records, I have never censored an artist. But I took it down, because all the artists involved agreed it was okay. What broke my heart was how upset and enraged black women were.” READ FULL STORY

Beyonce holds moment of silence for Trayvon Martin

Beyonce called in a concert for a moment of silence for Trayvon Martin, Young Jeezy released a song in Martin’s memory, and Russell Simmons called for peace after George Zimmerman was acquitted by a Florida jury in the death of the teenager.

There was a wide range of reactions by celebrities after jurors cleared Zimmerman late Saturday of all charges in the 2012 shooting death of the unarmed 17-year-old Martin.

Beyonce took a moment to honor Martin during her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour concert at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. Her concert started about 30 minutes after the Zimmerman verdict began to circulate.

“I’d like to have a moment of silence for Trayvon,” the pop star said as the stage grew dark with just a few key lights shining. READ FULL STORY

Rapper Murs 'Animal Style' supports gay equality in new video -- WATCH

When Frank Ocean revealed via his Tumblr last week that his first love was another man, the hip-hop community — often chastised for its  homophobia and rigid views on masculinity — came rushing to his side to lend support.

Odd Future pack-mate Tyler, the Creator applauded (in his own Tyler-y way) the R&B crooner’s courage, while Russell Simmons lauded Ocean’s declaration as the start of a new chapter for all hip-hop artists.

Looks like Los Angeles rapper Murs has taken it upon himself to ink the first page. The 34-year-old artist released a music video for his song “Animal Style” over the weekend, in which he plays Roderick, a high school student who struggles with both his sexuality (“Roderick kept his secret closeted/Scared to come out into this world of zero tolerance”) and his boyfriend Jonathan, an openly gay classmate (“He see him in the halls/But Rod would never acknowledge him”).

The video charts the rocky love story of these two conflicted boys — an ultimately tragic tale that leads to a disturbing and unforeseen climax.

Unhappy endings aside, the work stands as yet another ringing endorsement for gay rights in an arena that has been largely silent on the issue in years past.

Said Murs, who is seen wearing a ‘Legalize Gay’ T-shirt in the clip and who exchanges a kiss with Jonathan in the video’s final shot, “With this one I wanted to challenge the listener to ask themselves: Is the love shared by two people of the same gender really that different than the love I have for my partner of the opposite sex?… I felt so strongly about these issues and this song that I had to do a video that would command some attention, even if it makes some viewers uncomfortable.”

Check out the video below, and tell us what you think in the comments section: READ FULL STORY

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