Russell Simmons: “This Is Not About Me or Jay-Z”
Posted by Media Outrage on March 1, 2010
The power that blogs have these days are incredible. It used to be that when mainstream media outlets such as; CNN, Foxnews, Inside Edition and others reported something, then the stars responded, but now in the new era of media, the reactions are driven from mainstream blogs.
Russell Simmons had enough of seeing he and Jay-Z’s name thrown around on certain blogs last week, insinuating that their was some sort of rift, due to a federal investigation taking place. Peep what Russell had to say on his Global Grind…
by Russell Simmons
I don’t generally respond to the media’s trash or their never ending thirst for blood. I smile at the paparazzi and joke with the gossip writers. I laugh at most of the headlines that are written about me and dust the dirt off my shoulders.
Speaking of dusting the dirt off my shoulders, I find it typical, not shocking, that this past week, many small-minded members bloggers tried to make up a feud between me and my good friend, Jay-Z, over New York’s much maligned Aqueduct redevelopment bid.
It is much easier for the media to spread negative gossip than to report on real news, like healthcare reform or the catastrophe in Chile. Jay-Z is a champion, a hero, a friend of mine and I have proudly watched him raise a generation with his poetry. For the media to infer that Jay-Z is involved in any corrupt scandal is ludicrous, not the rapper, Ludacris, but ludicrous, like crazy…ludicrous, like me eating a piece of meat…ludicrous, like me not showing up for yoga, ludicrous like Jay-Z not being the King of New York, that kind of ludicrous. And what’s even more ludicrous is that they write that I am at odds with Jay. We have each endorsed our respective bidders for the Aqueduct deal, and my real question was never about Jay (I would bet my house that Jay-Z doesn’t have a crooked bone in his body), but about the decision making process in Albany. I am still mystified why New York State didn’t take the highest bid. Penn National Gaming, which I endorsed, offered $100 million more than any other competitor, and the State said that they only would accept the winning bidder, AEG’s, bid on the condition that they come up with an additional $100 million to match Penn National’s. That seemed to me fundamentally unfair as a bidding process, and totally untransparent.
I want to make a point that my intentions are clear. I have zero interest in gambling or horse-racing. I got involved with the Aqueduct project not as an investor but solely as an advisor on community and humanitarian matters, about which I care deeply. Knowing that this area of my native Queens is going to be developed by somebody, I want to get the best deal for the millions of people who live in struggling communities in New York City. By taking this partnership with Penn National, I have received $500,000 to run a philanthropic, social responsible program on behalf of Penn National. We have already funded a pilot program to promote non-violence in my old neighborhood of Hollis and South Jamaica, Queens as well as East New York, Brooklyn. I am committed to working with Penn National on building social and sustainable development, as well as fighting for key legislation that will outlaw the abuse of horses that is taking place on many racetracks across America.
I hope that whoever is the eventual winner of this bid, that they make the same community commitments that Penn National has already put into place. Lastly, I hope that Albany gets its house in order, and does what is best for the people of the great state of New York.
Mediaoutrage– Well there you have it…