russell simmons

Russell Simmons Responds To Kid Cudi’s Comments About Hip Hop

(AllHipHop News) Cleveland artist Kid Cudi started a public conversation about the current state of Hip Hop after his recent appearance on the Arsenio Hall Show. The Satellite Flight creator suggested rap music focuses too much on materialism and misogyny.

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“I think the braggadocio, money, cash, hoes thing needs to be deaded,” said Cudi. “I feel like that’s holding us back as a culture, as black people.”

One of Hip Hop’s original moguls shared his thoughts on Cudi’s statements. Russell Simmons stopped by Arsenio as well, and the Def Jam co-founder provided his take on where Hip Hop is at the moment.

“I think the artists are sharing with us some really inspiring things, some things about ourselves that we don’t want to face,” stated Simmons. “I’m not at all disturbed by where they’re going. In fact, I’m proud of what Hip Hop has become.”

Simmons also talks about the use of the word “n***a” and expresses his opinion about Kanye West.

“Kanye is so brilliant,” added Simmons. “Lots of what he says is truthful.”

[ALSO READ: Kid Cudi Says Kanye West Put Him On “Yeezus” Without His Knowledge]

Watch Russell Simmons’ appearance on the Arsenio Hall Show below.

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  • Montezuma1

    Russell is a snake oil salesman and Arsenio is a career lackey.

  • ursocalledgod

    he said hes pround of where hip hop is right now…i have lost all respect for dude. its definitely some gems out there but hip hop or real hip hop is still fine but rap as a whole is HORRIBLE right now real talk.

    • johnblacksad

      But the current state of hip hop was bound to be from its inception…

      If I rap about having the most beautiful girls, you gon rap about having fcuked my girl, then I’m gon rap about having fcuked your girl and made her give me some of your money… and so on and so forth…

      “I got my other broad talkin to my other broad,
      while I’m in the back talkin to my other broad”
      -Jeezy, 2012

      It was bound to get to this point… and it’s not gonna stop now…

      Who would have thought motherfcukers would be proud today to boast about doing molly and all kinds of other drugs…

      I think it’s that Hip hop stays overbidding itself

    • @Real_SirJamie

      I think what he means is where it’s going as in rappers like Macklemore, K. Dot, Cole, Jay Elect and others with an actual message are getting more recognition, respect, and exposure and people are actually being VOCAL about getting sick of the b.s. Up to even 10 years ago saying something like what you or Cudi said would make you a “hater” and things would move on. But notice these days when a -insert wack rapper- surfaces there’s an IMMEDIATE response from fans like “Nope, dreads, slurred speech, auto tune, same subject matter, body full of tattoos.. PASS.” At least we’re in agreement. There’s a shift in paradigm going on. I agree with Russ this time. I like where Hip Hop is going…

  • Reblogged this on HUEY mix wit RILEY.

  • Truth Powell

    I think the braggadocio, money, cash, hoes thing needs to be deaded only for artists like Migos whose whole purpose to make music in the first place Is just to brag and have money.
    Now real artists like Nas or Ghostface can do that because to them it’s more than that. Money Cash Hoes has been a part of rap since the 80’s.

    • trilltalk1

      NAS and GHOSTFACE rap about the same shit. every other nigga rap about, they been doing it there whole career. yall wanna pick and choose who can do what. but if its not a good look for MIGOS then its not a good look for NAS and GHOSTFACE. for the record every rapper that raps is doing ot for money. they may love what they do, but trust they wouldn’t do it for free. NAS and GHOSTFACE are no exception to that.

      • Truth Powell

        Im sick of you short sighted people. Of course Nas and Ghostface are doing it for money as well. It’s their career. But they’re also doing it to be the best lyricists and conscious of their art.
        People like Migos don’t care about their art or craft. It’s just cookie cutter shit to make a buck.
        There is a difference and there are exceptions. If you pretend like there isn’t then you’re just an idiot or need to educate yourself more to culture.

      • trilltalk1

        let me be clear on this, i know my hiphop history. from djing and breaking to grafiti and mcing. that has nothing to do with the fact, that alot of yall wanna make it seem like. certain mc’s are some how an exception to the standards yall put on artist. i am know fan of migos or any of them other non rapping muthafuckas thats coming out these days. but the fact is they are know different then any other nigga that is rapping to get out the hood. yea NAS and GHOSTFACE may care about they craft you can tell in there lyrics. but trust they care more about that check.

  • $48291066

    Hoes cars money have been the content in rap/hip hop since the late 80s. The only difference between now and then is that artistic value. When Eric B…Rakim….Ghost and Rae spoke about splurging and killing niggas it was still very clever and poetically there. New artists are just getting on without being gifted rhyming/wise. I don’t feel kid cudi has been “rapping” long enough to speak out as if he is a voice of hip hop. He hasn’t represented hip hop for quite awhile. He’s created his own genre which is great for him.

  • these tv interviews be so artificial..podcast interviews are much better..

  • Says Russell while sitting on his solid gold toilet bowl…. Cudi was right. It’s too much of it going on. I guess Russell just has business interests he needs to protect.

  • Still in business with rap, downtalk nothing thats bringing money. Like Interscope, making money off cheef keef.. 100

  • @Real_SirJamie

    They are both right but really hip hop fans are some of the worst, worse than sports fans and the message in the music is to blame. I make some really good music (not me saying this because I make it, It’s true google me) But because of the image that OTHER successful rappers have put on themselves I (a talented person with average means) am overlooked. Fans need a “super hero” or someone they perceive to be better than them. In some ways hip hop has been turn into a fashion show. Rap fans are followers. Letting what rapper they like dictate what they buy, eat, wear, pretty much live. Sad.

    • Miami

      Then step yo game up homie.

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  • digitallife

    Hip-Hop artist is now a pulpit for the fashion that is the business behind it. It’s become a misused tool to promote brands and lifestyles more than to actually express artistic direction.That’s the taboo the business people of hip-hop don’t want to publicly discuss.

  • If you want to get a label deal. It’s all about product placement.
    Advertise the hell out of everything. That’s the only job.

    The Reward$$$ is big.
    Sell that stuff to your listeners. Those who can’t afford it will
    dream about it and further advertise by talking about it.
    While those who can afford it will make the purchase to
    brag they own the latest style.

    Just remember. Where could the industry place a logo
    on Kurt Cobain’s head? That’s why the industry put
    focus on rap music.

  • Brooklyn Stoop

    “I’m not at all disturbed by where they’re going. In fact, I’m proud of what Hip Hop has become.”

    say the man that exploits his people.

    as for the arguemnt of Money, Clothes and Hoes………..why is this a “hip hop” thing when other genres of music share the same topics. they may not say money clothes and hoes verbatim but listen to the lyrics and you will find the same 3 elements in they music too

    • $11625525

      To quote Ice Cube on “Gangsta Gangsta” [N.W.A.] “Life ain’t nothin’ but bitches and money”. That’s a very coarse line but when you dissect it, most men lust after women and most women like men who are self sufficient [have enough money of their own to support the two of them and any children that may come along]. I suppose, because people are so superficial, clothes can also play a huge part, it’s what we use to [conscious or subconsciously] allow ourselves to be identified by potential suitors or those we wish to align ourselves with. We’re not peacock’s, we don’t have tail feathers, all we have is hair, clothes and [if you’re a woman] make up.

      It’s been that way since the days of the Pharaohs if not before, in fact, if you look at what they built and how they were buried [compared to those around them] I suppose you could say they were in the exploitation business too.

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  • itZ Tamar

    Russell Simmons need to sit his old a$$ down. like kid cudi stated its ppl like him (Russell simmons) whos holding not only our culture back but this entire country. ok yeah he’s apart of legendary group but hell its a new day and its time for ppl like him to shut up and sit down. The only reason h need to shut up because he just going along with the flow and like elder not providing some type of criticism. Russell Simmons should in this article how much of corporate bought, corporate raped stand for nothing wuss that he is. #RussellSimmon#s8wuss

    • $11625525

      I think you’re confusing Russell with his brother Run. Russell was never in a group.

      As for sitting his old ass down, that’s a very ignorant thing to say, what has his age got to do with it? He’s still functional, you may not agree with him however there’s probably plenty people, younger, older or the same age as you that will have a differing opinion to you on many topics.

      I think it’s good he’s still vocal, even if I myself don’t agree with everything that comes out of his mouth. Do I think he’s arrogant? I certainly things he has an arrogant air about him, however it’s good that he’s there, even if as a benchmark of sorts; as we can charter his life, and we can see when/where the changes occurred.

      The issue we have as Black people is we have thousands of unelected “Black Spokesperson’s”, who are seen by everyone but Black people to be the voice of Black people; and that goes from Chief Keef to Barack Obama [he’s only the President of the “USA”]. Somewhere there’s some editor co-signing a line like “Chief Keef, the voice of the Black youth in America”, and over time that line will morph into something more dangerous to those who have no desire to be aligned with him. Similar could be said about Barack Obama; for starters, not every Black person is a Democrat.

  • Chris

    I still remember when Russell and Kanye showed up at an “Occupy movement” rally pretending to be 99 percenters. F*ck…outta…here.

    • Cloud Air

      i don’t really get why people were upset about that.. they wanted to be there with the people standing for change.. why were people mad at them just because they have money

      • Chris

        How sincere can you be when you show up to an OWS rally in a limo with a $50,000 watch on? How sincere can you be when your company, Def Jam, has made a living out of doling out one-sided contracts to unsuspecting rappers from the projects? You can’t really be for change when you’ve benefited entirely from the system you claim to be against.

      • $11625525

        You can be very sincere. You know what it took to get you where you are, you understand not everyone can be where you are but you also dislike seeing people who are less fortunate than yourself “suffer”, not just financially but, quite often the less fortunate suffer injustices that the more fortunate are avert to.

        2Pac was a walking contradiction but we all know he was a champion for the underprivileged. Had he lived and got his dues, financially, do you think he’d be loved or hated? Do you think he’d have been there [right in the front] at occupy Wall Street? Would you have had the same issue with him being there as you do Kanye and Russell?

        Are wealthy Black people not allowed to have nice things? Should they take them off just because they are around the have nots? What if that watch sparks a person into action to work that bit harder? Be less frivolous with their money, etc.?

        We shouldn’t hold these people up as Gods, we should solely judge them by the things they do that are good and [equally] which are harmful to others.

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  • I love when people who got involved with hip-hop music blame hip hop music as why black culture is held back. Hip hop was created in the late 70s…what about the centuries before that, did Marty McFly go back and give slaves hip-hop? I blame rap fans and artists for giving away the culture (or better yet, selling it) and the fans who seeming advocate these actions.

    • rocnation30

      i agree

    • $11625525

      Are you American? Do you live in America? Have you travelled outside of America and seen the changes hip hop has brought to other cultures? Don’t be so dismissive.

      Richard Pryor famously said “I went to Africa and I didn’t see one N****, only Black people”. If he were alive and went to Africa now, I’d dare say he’d find more than a few “Black People” all too happy to label themselves a “N****”.

      • I am an american. Thus, I care much more about black americans than what anyone else around the world thinks about black americans. Also I love pryor and glad that he was able to afford to go to a nicer place on the continent of Africa but its ironic that a man who built his career using a word he would consider admonishing those who did not get rich off of it (and then got richer making family movies) for saying the same word.

      • $11625525

        The point I was trying to make was, experiencing Africa killed his ignorance, regardless what came before it’s the man he tried to become after I guess. Irony? Sure, I’d go along with that, however I also believe there was a message there for all of us “Black” people who have not yet been to Africa’ “We’re not N****r’s we’re Black people”.

        There’s an attitude which comes with being a N*****[no pun intended] does it make me any less of a black man if I let go of both the N***** and the attitude; or at least tuck it away for emergencies?

  • Cloud Air

    i got some respect for russell simmons but on the real, calling people the n-word and the b-word and rapping about alcohol brands and bragging are not something to be proud of.. rappers just do it to be cool.. and its not even cool anymore

    and whenever i think the tides will turn, the major labels sign someone else who perpetuates the whole image of black people “sell crack” “be ratchet” “ghetto” etc

    they do it on purpose.. think about it.. chief keef wouldn’t be able to get a job ANYWHERE IN AMERICA.. but some music executive will sign him and give him a platform to represent black youth and make us look like we are all high, drunk, and violent

    hip hoppers have no respect these days also.. for example.. i listened to cyhi’s new mixtape called black history and he said the n-word like 50-leven times.. i mean how do you make a black history themed album talking about heroes like mandela and say the n-word all throughout the whole thing?

    think about it.. would you say to your mom: “i love you, bitch”

    THE LANGUAGE WE ARE USING IS DESTROYING ANY MESSAGE WE COULD HOPE TO HAVE.. and the messages themselves generally tend to be questionable to begin with

    kid cudi was right and i’m not a kid cudi supporter because he says things in his music that are stupid or sacrilegious sometimes.. but what he said on arsenio was a step in the right direction

    • rocnation30

      u must like rock an roll….i think people look too much into things..its just a word that our culture says if everyone in hiphop stop using that word meaning bitch or nigga hiphop would die period..kid cudi is a good artist but he holds no weight in hiphop an he knows that thats why he is in the place he is in give him a year or 2 and he’ll be a nobody. he shove stayed with good music an kanye

    • $11625525

      Quite often things become uncool once you’ve grown out of them, however to the person(s) to whom those things are are still relatively “new”, they will remain cool that little longer after we’ve put them down.

      I sometimes wish I never got into “Gangsta Rap”, because it glamorised the N word and, having bought into that glamorisation, I feel like I’m partly responsible in keeping it alive.

      I believe you’re so right with your summation of Chief Keef however I would go one step further. I am in the UK, our culture is a little different to American culture however [musically] we’re exposed to the exact same waves of music as you are, as we always have been, but with less delay [because of the internet]. Now I always believe the danger these rappers have is spreading generic stereotypes which could follow a “regular” Black man or woman [anywhere in the world] into the work place, where their non-black co-workers will take them less serious because of some song they heard at a club on the weekend or on the way into work.

      If Ignorance is a Cancer then Gangsta Rap is a carcinogen.

  • rocnation30

    We as people who love hiphop need to stop critiquing and pointing the finger and blaming its stupid be supportive and show that we as people can stand together. Always got the KID CUDI’s madd because people won’t buy his record so he attacks our culture and other rappers……..STOP

  • LetsBeRealpeople

    They just posted on Huff some sh’t about old hollywood heads, and I will be damned if one of them mugs wasn’t speaking on the likes of Uncle Rus, the “Leadership” that keeps the Black Culture, not the people back. Kid Cudi spoke truth, no filter, no apologies wrapped around it. Cudi and Simmons are in the game and know exactly what to do to make millions. We are the consumers and only know secondhand at best what happens on the daily. I laugh at the spin brought about in these comments. I wish folks were a little more grown and look at what Cudi said, instead of some lame ass sandbox b’tch talk about Cudi mad at folks not buying his records.

    “With a lot of blacks, there’s quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.

    I’ve directed two pictures and I gave the blacks their proper position. I had a black slave in The Alamo, and I had a correct number of blacks in The Green Berets. If it’s supposed to be a black character, naturally I use a black actor. But I don’t go so far as hunting for positions for them. I think the Hollywood studios are carrying their tokenism a little too far. There’s no doubt that 10 percent of the population is black, or colored, or whatever they want to call themselves; they certainly aren’t Caucasian. Anyway, I suppose there should be the same percentage of the colored race in films as in society. But it can’t always be that way. There isn’t necessarily going to be 10 percent of the grips or sound men who are black, because more than likely, 10 percent haven’t trained themselves for that type of work.” -Motherf’cken John Wayne.

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