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Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons is the most important businessman in the history of rap music. As co-founder of the Def Jam label, Simmons' street-friendly taste and marketing savvy helped bring hip-hop crashing into the mainstream of American culture and mass media. He's often been compared to Motown impresario Berry Gordy, but there's one important difference: Where Gordy strove to make assimilationist R&B that would be considered respectable by pop audiences, Simmons ensured that his artists remained as uncompromisingly… Show more

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