Does anyone even know what Russell Simmons does these days other than show up as a guest on cable news programs? Years ago, he sold his stake in Def Jam to focus on his clothing business, but then he ended up selling Phat Farm to the TIs as well.

In interviews, he claims he spends hours a day meditating, and he also pops up fairly often in episodes of the inexplicably popular "Run's House." (Seriously, people, wtf?) And that's not even counting the time he must spend balls deep in modeling chicks, which I think we all know is his number one hobby.

It would be mine, too.

In one of the interviews he did recently with, if I'm not mistaken, Sean Hannity, Rush mentioned some shit about how he's got several rappers' charities that operate out of his office, which would lead me to believe that his main function these days is as a sort of administrator for various social programs a la Jesse Jackson or somebody.

Speaking of which, what is it with these rappers and their damn charities anyway? If you notice, these days once a rapper gets to a certain level in his career, he's gotta start some sort of charity program. I know Fiddy's got one; Diddy's got one; Nelly's got one that's always being mentioned on the radio here in St. Louis; and the list goes on.

If the majority of these programs are anything like Nelly's, and I'm assuming they are, it's the rare occasion that they just give a shiteload of money to some poor people out of the kindness of their hearts, the way Bill Gates and Warren Buffet do.

In fact, the one time I can even think of some shit like that happening was when the beef between Fiddy and The Game began to heat up and someone ended up getting shot in the lobby at Hot 97. The next day or whatever, a press conference was called and Fiddy made a show of cutting a check to the Harlem Boys Choir, which, if you notice, is always getting a check from somebody.

I'm not saying they're a sham organization; I'm just saying. Someone with the tools and the talent might want to look into that.

But more often than not, they're just holding some sort of charity benefit in which you're supposed to show up and donate your money, as if you're the one that's got millions of dollars in the bank. And then they get to use it as an opportunity to both promote whatever bullshit new project they've got coming out as well as pretend as if they give a shit about children and the downtrodden.


Like I said, I don't have anything against giving back to the community. But at the same time, I don't buy for a minute that so many of these hip-hop charity groups are anything other than yet another PR strategy for these rappers. If these d-bags really want to impress me, they can put their money where their mouth is and donate to a real charity.