The Simmons name has meant success ever since Hip-Hop Icons Joseph and Russell Simmons entered the scene over 25 years ago. From music to fashion, the family has created an illustrious empire, so it comes as no surprise that the legacy continues through Angela and Vanessa Simmons, the eldest children of Joseph Reverend Run Simmons.
If you caught the last two seasons of the hit MTV reality show Runs House, youve gotten a small glimpse of Angela and Vanessas lives. Angela is currently a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology and runs her own magazine, while Vanessa is in the midst of exploring an acting career and continues to model on the side.
Since the inception of the show, Angela and Vanessa have proven that they have beauty, brains and a love for family, as well as the potential to capitalize off their new found fame. We talked with both ladies about their individual goals and aspirations, the rumors on Bow Wow and Victorias Secret, and got the scoop on the realities of their TV show.
AllHipHop.com Alternatives: Tell us what its been like to have Rev. Run as your father?
Angela Simmons: Everyone always asks that!
AHHA: Were just curious; weve never heard you talk about it.
Angela: For me, its normal. Thats my dad. Hes not super strict or anything. Hes a really cool dad. Its real normal to me. I dont know what it would be like for somebody else, but its real normal to me.
AHHA: What was it like for you when you were younger and you would go out and people would recognize him?
Angela: You know, it really didnt affect me that much. If someone recognized him and wanted to take a picture, I would just sit. I liked it. It didnt bother me. I eventually got used to it.
AHHA: Hows are you adjusting to college life?
Angela: Everything has been good. This is my third semester there. Ive gotten used to it.
AHHA: What school are you attending?
Angela: FIT [Fashion Institute of Technology].
AHHA: Are you still living at home?
Angela: No, my sister and I are living in the city; in an apartment.
AHHA: How are you enjoying that?
Angela: Its fun!
AHHA: Is it different than living at home? Whats been the biggest challenge so far?
Angela: The fact that Im living on my own. I have to buy my own food, its not being provided anymore.
AHHA: Do you miss all of the amenities of being at home?
Angela: Yes, mostly my family. You just miss that sometimes.
AHHA: How is your magazine Angelas Rundown coming along?
Angela: Its going very well. Im working on my latest issue right now. Im getting all of my interviews in. Its going real well.
AHHA: How are you maintaining juggling the task between going to school and working on the magazine?
Angela: Its definitely a task. A lot of times Im being pulled one way then another. Sometimes I have a photo shoot to attend, and then I have to deal with school. Im maintaining. The people that I work with regarding my magazine know my class schedule, and they work around it the best way they can. Its definitely a task but I love doing it.
AHHA: Initially, your magazine was launched with Word Up! When will your magazine become its separate entity?
Angela: I have about six more issues still with Word Up! Once it builds its name and I am done with the six issues, I think eventually I will go out on my own and have my own magazine. Right now its only 16 pages, but its really cool and I like it.
AHHA: What are your responsibilities with the magazine? Are you doing the actual interviews?
Angela: Yes I am. If its a phone interview Ill call them. If its a photo shoot, Ill be doing a photo shoot with them. Im actually hands on with this. I help with everything.
AHHA: What do you want to do with fashion as a whole; whats your ultimate goal?
Angela: I want to eventually have my own clothing line. So thats definitely one of my main goals. As of right now, my sister and I have a sneaker line. Its coming out in March its called Pastry so definitely be on a look out for that. Its a cake collection. We have four different sneakers under athletes. We have Sprinkle, Chocolate Mousse, Strawberry Shortcake, and Red Velvet. Its to symbolize the layers of the cake. Its really cute!
AHHA: What else are you working on? We saw you in the Bow Wows Shorty Like Mine video. What was that experience like?
Angela: That experience was real fun. It was my first video. The taping lasted all day, but I had a good time.
AHHA: Do you plan on doing any other videos any time soon?
Angela: Not really. That one wasnt even planned. It was very last minute. I just ended up flying out to L.A. and just doing it. I dont have any others in mind or planned.
AHHA: Who hooked that up for you?
Angela: Actually, Bow Wow initiated it. Were real cool. It was a last minute thing because he ended up asking me the day before the video shoot to come out.
AHHA: So you and Bow Wow are friends? At one point there was a rumor circulating that you all might be a little closer than that.
Angela: Oh no! Its not like that. Were just cool. Were not like that at all.
AHHA: How long exactly have you been friends?
Angela: I met him when we did a photo shoot together for my magazine, which was about a year ago, so Ive known him for a while.
AHHA: How did you feel when you found out that you would be apart of Runs House?
Angela: I thought it was real cool. I didnt feel like it was a problem exposing our lives to the world. Were going into our third season. Its real cool. I love doing it.
AHHA: Sometimes in reality shows, a lot of people feel like who they really are isnt always correctly portrayed. Do you feel like youre being portrayed fairly?
Angela: I feel like Im being portrayed really well in the show. Its not like Im being portrayed negatively or anything like that. Everyone has their own perception.
AHHA: How has your life changed since the show started?
Angela: Its definitely changed drastically. I have lot more recognition now when I am out in the streets. A lot of great things have come out of it.
AHHA: Youve definitely taken the success of show and created a lot of opportunities for yourself. Its really good to see you grow in that aspect.
Angela: Thank You.
AHHA: Are there times when youre being filmed and you really dont want to be filmed?
Angela: No, not really. It takes up a lot of time, a lot of your day, Ill tell you that much. The actual taping is a long process, and its something you just have to go for.
AHHA: How often are the cameras following you?
Angela: Its pretty much every day except for Sundays when we all go to church.
AHHA: Has there ever been a time when you told the camera crew that they couldnt film you?
Angela: No. Our TV show is set up like a reality sitcom. Its what happens, but its kind of set up at the time. They dont follow us completely; there not by my bedside as soon as I open my eyes.
AHHA: We never see you go to bed, but we see your parents going to sleep. Do the cameras wait for you to wake up?
Angela: Yeah, its kind of like, We need you here at this time. Its like a television show.
AHHA: As far as Justine being your step mom, whats that been like? You all seem to get along so well. Has it always been that way?
Angela: Yes! We have known her forever, so its like shes our mom as well. We have a mother and thats our mom, but we also respect her as our mother as well. Were used to her, shes very nice, she treats us like her own children so we just love her. Shes just like our own mother.
AHHA: The AllHipHop family was very sorry to hear about your sister passing away. Whats it been like dealing with the lost?
Angela: Our family definitely came together right after that happened. Everyone was real strong about it. We just know its in Gods hands. We woke up the next day, started smiling we had to keep it moving.
AHHA: Do your parents plan to have any more children now?
Angela: I dont know. Im not sure what their plans are right now.
AHHA: Well before we talk to your sister Vanessa one last questions Are you single because we didnt see you with a boyfriend on the show?
Angela: Yes, I am single.