Russell Simmons Launches Rap The Vote, Wife Gives Birth

Russell Simmons has joined with the NAACP, Def

Jam and Rock The Vote to relaunch Rap The Vote, which is aimed at getting people

ages 18-24 into the voting booth.

Rap The Vote has teamed with The Sprite Liquid

Mix Tour which features Jay-Z to host voter registration drives. Rap The Vote

will also attempt to snag voters during the Big Daddy Kane/Beatnuts/Non-Phixion

tour. In addition to these efforts, Public Service Announcements featuring such

celebrities as Puff Daddy are being produced for air over radio stations encouraging

young people to get into the voting booth.

"Rap The Vote has been very successful plugging

in the money." Simmons told "The infrastructure of

the NAACP will make it even more effective."

Jehmu Greene, who serves as executive director

of Rock the Vote, said voter turnout in 1998 for the 18-24 group was 16 percent.

"That's unacceptable," she said. "If we can increase that 3 to

5 percent this year, that's putting us back on track."

"We know how to get a kid to buy a CD, so

why can't we get a kid to vote?," added Def Jam president Kevin Liles.

"The artists realize it's another feather in their cap if they can make

political change."

For more information check out Rap

The Vote.

In related news, Simmons wife, Kimora Lee Simmons,

who also oversees the Baby Phat empire of the Phat Farm fashion line, gave birth

to a healthy 7.8 pound baby girl. Simmons gave birth to Aoki Simmons on Friday

August 16th.