Ehhh...it was aiiight....not much detail about his personal story, but more an overview of his business ventures and little tidbits of advice. I was expecting a lot more, but it's worth reading for anyone interested in hip hop culture, or the music business. I hope someday he writes a real autobiography, and maybe uses a decent co writer!Kelvin Singleton
Russel Simmons' work in Sex, Drugs, Money, + God was a compelling depiction of the pitfalls of wanting, striving to achieve at any cost, and having success, Without and with God's blessing. It reminds me of my own life; where I've been; what I was willing to do;what I'm capable of; and where it ultimately led and now leads me. Inspiring.Adrienna
The title speaks for itself. In the late sixties and seventies, he speaks about drugs and money--how he sold artificial drugs as a youth and later when gangs formulated in Queens, Harlem, and surrounding cities. He later realized that he came from a decent neighborhood and good-home training, why was he in the street selling fake drugs (cocoa leaf as if it was cocaine) and hanging out with gangs (for those who came from broken homes)--so he got out before death came knocking at his door. He went to college and before finishing his degree in sociology like his mother, only 4-5 credits short from a degree, he started his record company. Now, we see how he built his empire and all came into fruition for Def Jam, later Phat Farm, and other business ventures. While reading this book, it brought back memories when I loved hip-hop and rap. There was debates on who were the first rappers in the game such as Kurtis Blow (first male solo artist) 1977, Afrikka Bambaataa, and/or Sugar Hill Gang. It also made me remember when my father bought off the ramp of Chicago freeway an album of "Rapper's Delight" by Sugar Hill when I was only 7 years old. I was into the cover and later we loved the song! Then, you have the hard hitters like L.L. Cool J, Run D.M.C. and controversial rap groups like Beastie Boys and PE (public enemy). Now I am questioning why I loved rap then and dislike it now! He also talks briefly about Jay-Z and DMC, marriage, and pictures to refer to those times in the rap game (family photos, etc). Oddly, when he mentions some of these titles from various artists, I remember the chorus line after all these years. I also thought about from 83-90, when I lived in the Midwest (Chicago), New York, and West Coast (California) where the music varied from east coast to west coast music and artists including tunes of dance/house music! I recall how some rap artists were played all over, regardless of east-west coast rivalries...and thinking back, sometimes east coast (NY) would only play their rappers and vice versa in the west coast...but Midwest played them both. We heard Too-Short, NWA, Easy-E, as well as Run DMC, Public Enemy, and LL Cool J while we rocked to stepping sounds and house music. Loved it when I lived in Chicago area!Tony Smith
Russell is a force, he has opened my eyes to business.Not just the music, but the business of life and the life of business,I love it all.Visionary, this needs to be in all of our homes.bARRY
the biggest themes in this book are cocaine, cellphones & yoga. things that are really annoying when other people do/use them...but you're okay when you do/use them.Dave
life is luck and workLdvk
Great book not just about Russell but also about the early beginnings of hip hop and how he helped to shape it.-Marcus
What a story!!!