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Riz Khan
Russell Simmons
The Def Jam founder is involved in an array of social and political causes.
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2007 10:41 GMT

Russell Simmons talks to Riz Khan
On Wednesday Riz speaks with a man considered by some to be "the father of rap".

African-American entrepreneur Russell Simmons founded Def Jam, one of the most influential hip-hop labels, in New York when he was in his 20s.

Eventually the movement he launched changed the musical and cultural landscape worldwide, pushing rap music to the mainstream and even changing how people talk and dress.

His pet projects include Def Poetry Jam and Def Comedy Jam, which are also responsible for launching many careers.

Simmons has used his fortune to get involved in an array of social and political causes, mostly focusing on education, poverty and injustice in the African-American community.

Most recently he has crusaded to remove offensive words from at least the "clean" edited versions of rap songs.

In April he published a self-help book based on his experience. Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success is a mix of spiritual and business advice.

This episode of Riz Khan aired on Wednesday 20 June 2007

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