Russell Simmons Defends Jay-Z

After Occupy Wall Street row
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Russell Simmons has leaped to the defence of Jay-Z after a row with Occupy Wall Street.

Jay-Z is now much more than a rapper. A successful businessman, his RocaWear brand recently fell foul of the Occupy Wall Street movement after launching a new t-shirt inspired by the movement.

Suffering criticism from the movement itself, Jay-Z ordered the t-shirt to be withdrawn. In a strongly worded statement, Occupy Wall Street said:

"Naturally there will be some bloodsuckers who come out of the woodwork. We have a screen-printers guild on camp, and it's easy to find many other T-shirts that actually benefit the cause. In regards to the question, a much better way to show your support for Occupy Wall Street would be to show up and participate in this momentous occasion and help to shape a new and better future."

Now Jay-Z has received support from Russell Simmons. An old friend of the rapper, the Def Jam founder told Billboard that he felt the t-shirt furthered the cause.

"You should sell things you're happy about. You should sell products that you're inspired by, that promote lasting and stable well-being" he explained.

"Give the world something or sell the world something that you're proud of. Jay-Z didn't make a T-shirt (that said) 'F--- the Bums on the Street'. He wrote a T-shirt 'Occupy All Streets' - I'm happy, it furthers the movement, it inspires the movement."

Continuing, the producer explained that an Occupy Wall Street song could be in the work. "There's a lot of music coming. I don't want to say who until they're dropping these bombs. These are artists I'm aware of that I pushed to do it, supported their efforts to do it, told them why it was important, briefed them on the demands of the protestors. I'm not making any songs, I'm not producing anything."

Alongside this, a benefit concert could be in the works. "Yes. And yes, we are. We are definitely discussing it. We're definitely working for permits. We're definitely looking to make a huge impact. We're actively working for permits. We'll have one in our hands soon."

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