Russell Simmons planning ‘Occupy Wall Street’ concert

By David Edwards
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 15:36 EDT
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Russell Simmons speaks to Occupy Boston
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Hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons says every good movement needs a soundtrack, and he’s doing his part to bring the music to “Occupy Wall Street.”

The recording magnate told former Raw Story reporter Brad Jacobson, in a piece for Billboard, that he is in the process of putting together a concert and pushing artists to create new material.

“There’s a lot of music coming,” Simmons explained. “I don’t want to say who until they’re dropping these bombs. … There’ll be a protest song that goes with Occupy Wall Street.”

“[D]o you foresee a large, organized and historic music concert in support of this movement?” Jacobson asked. “And specifically, are you or others in the music industry discussing such a concert at this time?”

“Yes. And yes, we are,” Simmons replied. “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.”

Simmons also defended Jay-Z for keeping all the profits from the sales of an “Occupy All Streets” t-shirt that were being marketed by his company Rocawear.

“What’s wrong with selling goodness? There’s nothing wrong with it,” Simmons insisted. “I’m happy, it furthers the movement, it inspires the movement.”

The t-shirts have since been removed from Rocawear’s website.

Speaking to “Occupy Boston” Tuesday, Simmons called for a constitutional amendment to ban corporations from funding federal elections.

“The idea is to give the power back to the people and take it away from the corporations,” he said. “Nine out of 10 Americans think there is too much control of our government by corporations and special interests.”

Watch this video of Simmons at Occupy Boston, uploaded Nov. 15, 2011.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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