Life and Def

Sex, Drugs, Money, and God

Life and Def

Russell Simmons, the original and eternal hip-hop mogul, is one of the most innovative and influential figures in modern American business and culture. When no one outside of inner-city New York had even heard of hip-hop, Simmons saw the seeds of a global force that would change the way people talk, dress, listen to music, and choose the heroes they hang on their walls. Today, he oversees a sprawling, multimillion-dollar empire of culture-defining businesses in everything from music to fashion, advertising to film, and media to visual art. At the same time he’s broadened his interests and influence and pushed hip-hop to new plateaus of power and relevance. Life and Def is a one-of-a-kind tale that interweaves the remarkable journey of Russell Simmons with the story of the culture he’s transformed and been transformed by. In his own brash, compelling voice, Simmons chronicles his numerous business successes and occasional failures. He tells the story of the founding of the legendary Def Jam Records, whose roster stretches from original rap icons like L.L. Cool J, Public Enemy, and the Beastie Boys to today’s top stars, including Jay-Z and DMX. He traces the launching of Def Comedy Jam, the long-running hit television series that introduced a new generation of black comedic stars to America, from Martin Lawrence and Bill Bellamy to Bernie Mac and Chris Rock. He spins hilarious tales of his adventures in Hollywood, where he’s produced hit movies like Eddie Murphy’s The Nutty Professor and worked with quirky geniuses like Abel Ferrara. He also tells the story of Phat Farm, the wildly successful pioneering urban clothing label whose origins lay in Russell’s longtime fascination with fashion (and fashion models). Simmons’s story is also one of personal transformation, from the driven man who in the heady days of early success indulged himself with drugs, sex, and world-class decadence to the husband and father he is today, a man who has found meaning in activism, philanthropy, and spiritual practice while never losing his passion for the social, political, artistic, and commercial potential of hip-hop. Through it all he relates telling anecdotes about the characters he’s dealt with: models and gangsters, street poets and gurus, and major players like Donald Trump, Sean Combs, Jon Peters, and Tupac Shakur. Full of advice, opinions, and behind-the-scenes scoop, Life and Def is the story of the quintessential hip-hop life.

Russell Simmons

From Def Jam to Super Rich

Russell Simmons

Presents the life and career of Russell Simmons, who helped found the rap group Run-D.M.C. and the pioneering label "Def Jam Recordings."

Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons

Presents the life and career of Hip Hop star Russell Simmons.

Quality of Life and Working Life in Comparison

Quality of Life and Working Life in Comparison

The topic on the quality of life and working life in a comparative perspective between Japan and Germany is of high relevance for the sustainability of our societies. The interdisciplinary approaches from the diverse fields of social sciences, i.e. sociology, psychology, economics, political science, architecture and environmental studies cover the diverse issue as well from a theoretical, empirical and historical perspective. The volume assembles the 26 best contributions to the 10th meeting of the German-Japanese Society for Social Sciences, which took place in August 2008 in Osnabruck."

Sociocybernetic Paradoxes

Observation, Control and Evolution of Self-Steering Systems

Sociocybernetic Paradoxes

In this stimulating work, thirteen distinguished scholars examine and aim to reconcile the paradox that social systems tend to steer themselves with the knowledge that they are, at the same time, subject to steering and control from outside. 'Sociocybernetics' is the term they have coined to describe the tools used in the analysis of this paradox; tools which have themselves evolved from and influenced cybernetics and general systems theory. Sociocybernetic Paradoxes surveys both the possibilities and limitations of cybernetics in the analysis and treatment of social problems: Part One looks at concrete experiences of the steering of specific social systems; Part Two examines the planning, hierarchy and views of soci

Home Front Heroes

A Biographical Dictionary of Americans During Wartime

Home Front Heroes


The Cultural Matrix

Understanding Black Youth

The Cultural Matrix

The Cultural Matrix seeks to unravel an American paradox: the socioeconomic crisis and social isolation of disadvantaged black youth, on the one hand, and their extraordinary integration and prominence in popular culture on the other. This interdisciplinary work explains how a complex matrix of cultures influences black youth.

A Journey Back in Time

My Story Book

A Journey Back in Time

A Journey Back in Time presents a collection of thirteen stories about love, hate, greed, redemption, freedom, peace, loneliness, the loss of a loved one, interracial relationships, and acceptance. Each story is relevant to the experiences of African Americans from as far back as the 1860s through the present day. These stories emerged through the research of author Vildred C. Tucker-Dawson into her family history. She discovered that her ancestors had a unique way to allow future generations to connect with the pastthrough these stories, handed down from generation to generation. Several of the short stories are based upon accounts told by the authors elders of her great-grandmother, Mrs. Sarah Pugh-Scott, whom she never met. Sarah and her son, who were both of a mixed racial background, faced challenges throughout their lives that did not prevent them from striving for better lives for their families. Presenting real perspective in the form of fiction, A Journey Back in Time offers food for thought to both youth and adults on African American experiences and history.

To Create

Black Writers, Filmmakers, Storytellers, Artists, and Media-Makers Riff on Art, Careers, Life, and the Beautiful Mess in Between

To Create

To Create is a collection of illuminating interviews with an eclectic set of black artists—including Harry Belafonte, Method Man, Nikki Giovanni, Edwidge Danticat, Edward P. Jones, Booker T. Mattison, and more—as conducted by the writer, entrepreneur, educator, and consultant Felicia Pride. This is an honest, inspiring series of conversations in which Pride and her fellow artists talk openly about the challenges and rewards of working creatively across a multitude of platforms. Over the course of dozens of frank discussions with writers, activists, and media creators, Pride elicits sincere firsthand perspectives on the struggle to find—or to create, if it's not there—a niche for one's voice in the media landscape. The personable and fluid interview style allows the artists to follow their threads of dialogue to unique, intimate revelations. The interviews transition smoothly between similar themes, touching on the do-it-yourself mentality of creating; practical musings on media careers; as well as theoretical discussions on art, legacy, and community. Additionally, many of the artists, musicians, and authors discuss finding career longevity through a multi-platform approach, the connection between the personal and political in art, and the ongoing conflict between art and commerce. This is one of the most candid and diversified interview collections within the African-American community, but it is also a stirring look into what it means to be a creator.