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tv   News  Al Jazeera  June 8, 2014 1:00am-1:31am EDT

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>> mogul russell simons is a man of vision. >> you can't fail until you quit. >> music, fashion, social action, the def jam founder is a pervasive cultural influence and a strong advocate for justice. >> the war on drugs has done more to detroit the fabric of the black community than anything that we can think of. not the effects of jim crow and the effects of slavery, it's the war on drugs. >> he's also a practicing yogi, who values daily medication. it's the subjects of his latest book, success through still ,. >> i want to be enlightened. >> i caught up with my friend russell simons at a recording stood know in york.
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how would you describe what you do? you are a -- >> i have no idea. >> you defy the kind of -- >> i don't want to have a title. >> let's say there was one person who didn't know you and you said, i am i am russell -- >> i am an inspiring yogi. i want to be enlightened. how would i describe it. i philanthropic, social, political issues. >> aanimal activists. businesbusinessman. >> i can a music company again. i have three internet companing. i have a digital solutions company. i do a lot of stuff of i am a father. that's first. every morning, first thing, medications and take them to school. >> have you always done like 20 things at once? >> no, actually, just, you know, what happens is people -- i would start something, right, i am passionate, i go to work every day in that thing, right, and then smarter people than me come along and they take over. they take direction, but they really know how to run whatever
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it is that we are doing. right now my focus is mostly on a.d. di d. all depth digital. these new collections i am shipping to macy action is a 's is a thing as well. things that need attention you have to focus them. >> after being a father, is there sort of next job that's your most important passion? >> well, i like supporting social and political initiatives that make people, you know, -- promote well being. like this book coming out is good. i want all kids to meditate. my kids meditate and i think medications, it's one of the keys to have self reflection is good, yes. and all of the spiritual things they say are good. but the research on what it physically does to the brain, and what it does to the immune system and nervous system and what it does to change people's life, you are connecting the left and right side of the brain and it goes on and on about all the gifts that come from people
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sitting still for 20 minutes a day a couple of times a day. >> when did you start meditate something. >> i started meditating almost 20 years ago . i started it. m. trans dental medications which i know you do as well. i started that more recently . eight, nine years ago. my book is a very simple kind of medications, based in mantra it had it. medical. demystifies the practice a bit and makes it accessible to people. >> when did you become a vegan? >> 15 years at least. >> why did you become a vegan? >> for the animals. >> tension of your animal rights work. >> 40 billion animals born in to suffering every single year, made to be born, not born, made to be born in to a short life painful, suffering
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, it's the worst car mick disaster in the history of the world. people say, why would you not take the holocaust or slavery or -- it's the worst car mick, worst, people say, you are going to get in trouble for saying it's it's worst disaster in the world. >> why is it the worst. >> every single year we commit this. horrific disaster. the abuse of those animals. and i don't have to eat them. do i like sick. i am 90. i don't feel sick. i am in good shame. i can put both my feet behind my head. i haven't eat even animals in 15 years, i don't them them or their products, we don't neat them. dominion over animals does not need abuse of 40 million animals every year. >> what does car mick disaster mere? >> collective mass torture and murder .
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i just left fashion week and everybody in the audience had a fur. many of those cubs skins are taken off animals while they are still alive. it makes the fur shine. do you think that's what god meant by dominion over the animals. if you believe in god do you think that means to rip the skin off animals while they are still alive and put them on your back . when you can put all kind of things on your back. >> tell me about your family. >> danny simons is a painter. my other brother is a poe at the time. joey. my father was a poet. reverend run, dmc. we have been in the arts . i fancy myself an artist. i exploit art. i work with artists and help them develop and realize their dreams. i love art and artis tech
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expression and i want kids to have it. i think it's critical for kids. >> i find if you can do it then you can just press buttons, especially celebrity allows you to do a lot of stuff. connected muslims and jews in 40 countries, foundation for ethnic understanding. >> why was that -- you are not -- >> it was ease. >> i you are not jewish. >> but it was easy. >> it was ease any. >> i had jewish friends and muslim friends it started meeting with rabbi snyder at the time the secretary of the world jewish congress and his foundation, i was on his board. and i took over the board at that time and became a chairman, he's still the president, but i became a chairman because it showed me how much courage he had. to want to have that dialogue. and then we took on the idea of promoting exchanging pull puts with sin doings and rabbis and mosques. that was a moment. that really -- they needed it so badly. it was so easy to do. you get them in the room and
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they are like, he's a nice guy. even farrakhan and rabbi snyder all we wan they want to do is we off the mountain at what time it's a bunch of -- you know. but in the end he agreed the basis of their religion and ideas are is love. >> i don't do you find the time. >> i got plenty of time. >> you say it's easy. >> got plenty of time to go here and go to lunch. >> you have 20 businesses, 30, 40 businesses. >> no, i don't want 40 businesses. >> you have 20. >> i don't know how many i have but not 40. >> 25. >> a lot of smart people and i have less businesses than that for sure. >> you have more than 10? >> not even 10. >> you have more than 10. >> no, i have the all def digital. one music, one thing that has components to it. i have fashion and culture. >> you write books. >> i write books. >> you are in films. >> films and books -- i am in the film business, yes. and i am an a are no, yes. >> and you have the yoga thing going, the new spiritual center and yoga center. so that's a thing. >> that's a thing. you can count things, i have things. >> okay. >> they are not all businesses. >> we are getting mired in semantics is what i am saying.
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>> i have a lot of stuff going on. i handle it. i know what do you want do. i don't know a lot of stuff, i have gut instincts on many things. i really do have a really -- i have an easy life. i don't work that hard. >> you were on twitter talking about philip see mor see more hs death and your perspective about drug laws. >> all i said is if he were alive today would he go to jail or rehab. i said end the war on drugs. the war on drugs has done more to destroy the fabric of the black community than anything we can think of. not the effects of jim crow and the effects of slavery. it's the war on drugs have taken innocent deceased people. locked them up and educated them in criminal behavior and dumped them back in the hood with no hope. that game jail culture for the hood. not the schools. the prison has it. you learn, you are educated in how to do things that you never
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would have done just by -- and whites and blacks don't they use and sale drugs at the same rate? you can't have like the drug lords, when we are ending those laws, 94 1/2% of the people are black or brown incarcerated under the rockefeller drug laws in a state which was not 94% black and brown, right? and we inning course rate more people than anybody in the world, you know that, america. is responsible for locking its own up. and creating criminals and a cycle of criminal natural comes, you knowcriminal atcriminalitie. >> mike the sam number 52 came out of the closet before the draft and started a little firestorm i think it's fair to say. you have been very vocal in game rights. tell me why. and then tell me what you think about this young guy. >> people are suffering. people need to wake up. consciousness, it's always the same thing, right?
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you have a voice, say gays should get the rights that we all -- the rights that we want for ourselves and the rights that we should give to others. the respect that we demand for ourselves, we should give to others. that's a simple mantra, i try to live by. so i want to be able to get married again, not now. [laughter] >> i want to get -- >> well, let's hear what news you are making for me. go ahead. >> i want to get married again. people should have the right to get married. people should have the right to live freely in our society. you know, so things like that are obvious you know, if you see an injustice and you don't say anything, then maybe you have other issues. >> this kid, if end up playing in the nfl, and he seems -- >> he will play in the nfl. >> he has to get through the draft. but he would the first openly game nfl player. >> good for him. bad for america that he's the first
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openly gay. a lot of gay football players that will be proud of him and rooting for him. gay football players right now in every lock, he on almost every team who are rooting for him . and straight guys like me rooting for him. so that's good. >> i think it's unusual to have someone who is running companies, but who also has this activism. >> you know, when you have a voice you use it, if you can. so i have a voice, and i use it. so as a person who runs a company, i have been to congress to promote a law . i influence, i promote for the president to get him in office. i traveled around this whole country and for other politicians, i have supported them. i have power. we get to talk about laws, my celebrity allows me the freedom to influence things that shouldn't -- my celebrity and money.
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i should not have influence. citizens should have influence and individuals. shouldn't -- corporations should not. i just know that. corporations should not have this kind of like -- the citizenses united, it's horrible. anybody can wake up and run for president if they have the money money. even else can't. and the ones that wake up with enough money can be president you know, with the choice words, enough advertising. it's not -- we should have public funding for politicians. we should have a way to protect ourselves from corporations running out government and we should have a way to promote for the people to run the government instead. we should not have corporations over people running our government. corporations are here to exploit people. they should not have undue influence on politicians. that's not what the american system is built for, to have people paying politicians to do their bidding. and that's an importantish to
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you me that i will stay on as much as i can. >> is black hollywood integrated enough? more with russell simons when we come back. >> al jazeera america's presents the system with joe burlinger observing a crime >> a shocking number of these eyewitnesses get it wrong >> how much would you remember? >> dark complected... medium height... you described most of the majority of the men in america >> sometimes witnesses get it right >> when you have an eyewitness to say i saw him do it, that is the best evidence. >> and sometimes sometimes they don't >> no one is listening to us...
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real reporting that brings you the world. >> this is a pretty dangerous trip. >> security in beirut is tight. >> more reporters. >> they don't have the resources to take the fight to al shabaab.
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and i think now, you know, that you manifest in all the businesses, all the things that i am doing, but i think medications make it easier to balance those balls. >> did you think that you were going to be successful when you were a kid? >> i don't think so. a lot of my friends died and went to jail over gangs and drugs and things. i survived and was lucky enough to find a situation where i could butt my energy. i didn't think i was going to be successful in this degree, of course not. >> when you look back what do you think were the things that made you success h. luck? >> a lot of luck. no question luck was a big one. finding one success really matters. for some people that success is an ongoing practice. i learned me my first success resilience and hard work and dedication and not quitting adds up to success, right? so all of my businesses, people think, global grind was not successful for four years, five
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years, fhat farm took six years for make a penny. my financial service took six years to start becoming profitable. everything takes a long time. and i think resilience and dedication, i learned that from not quiting in music. you need to know that you can't fail until you quick. >> what mistakes have you made? >> i make mistakes every day. >> really? >> i don't try to counts them. if i counted my mistakes -- >> what have been some of the big ones? >> big mistakes. >> very rarely do you find successful entrepreneurs will talk about mistakes. >> i forget what they are. i don't have my gold records. i don't count a lot of the stuff that went -- i always think that everything i did wrong was an experience that there are no more mistakes. that the learning experience from struggling, suffering is the thing that makes you great or makes you realize that your truth. >> why not have your gold records?
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>> i mean, i lost them. i didn't throw them away i didn't take them outside and -- >> clearly if they mattered to you a ton you would have -- >> i don't carry a watt of weight from the part. the stuff that i did wrong or did right. and i don't because i don't think they should are too high or happy about these moments and then so sad about these other moments. i think the idea is to move towards blissful experience in all situations. i believe in enlightenment and consciousness, nirvana, muslims have this idea of being awake and enjoying a moment and not carrying the weight from the past or having anxiety about the future or the past. >> how do you think you have inspired younger musicians and producers and people in the industry? >> depends how young, young like -- >> i am thinking of ludicrous, he's a big fan of yours and he thinks of you as someone who has led by example of things that he could do i don't think he's out as much as you are.
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he's definitely philanthropic. >> a lot of hip hop artists stick their neck out and have big mouths when it comes to issues that matter. and a lot of hip hop artists have philanthropic social and political initiatives. philanthropic, if you name an artist there is a charity. lil' wage skateboards and parks. the ludicrous foundation is one that you think of. everybody has something that they are giving back. eminem does good work. everybody gives, not like congressmen, you can't name their charities. but you can name the charities for all of the rappers. they get a lot for telling the trying. they say such horrible sexual things. right? the artist should say what's on people's minds. that's an artist's job to tell you what people are thinking. not what they'll say. you know, what they are taught to do. what they are thinking.
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artists are from inside out. and i think that that's a good thing. >> what's been the biggest change that you have seen in the record industry? there is a lot of change. >> you call it the record industry. what's changed, i started digital. >> the music industry, one of the biggest changes in the music industry. >> i have a digital music company with def jam, all def music and all def music is discovering musicians through the internet, promoting through musicians through the internet. it's the greatest vehicle, youtube is by far the place where music is consumed. the greatest place. this should be a collaboration between youtube and music industry. executives and there is. and my company and one or two others. eights a hole. why would we not partner with create music programming through, and innovate music through, or promote i believe owe visit music through through
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and not just left it happen in fronfront of us and ignore it. the music business has changed and shifted and look forward to and promote and manage and develop them should be on the mind of executives. not how to cell a cd. they are very slow. remember the napster guys came to me and said, we want to meet the head of -- the head of the company, the chairman, he's like don't talk to them. don't talk to them? well, they are talking to you when you like it or not. so you sued them there is still another new napster, another creative. when innovation comes you have to embrace? "talk to aljazeera" and use it. that's what the music industry hasn't done well . >> what musician do you like. >> i sat with kanye yesterday. >> he's a genius. >> he is a genius. >> troubled genius. >> he says the truth a lot of times. he's not the best messenger are
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for the truth all the time. but says a lot of truth, stuff that we feel and don't say. something artists are supposed to do. i like ric rick ruben he's brilliant. i like that kid jay cole. i like christian adoss, seems the did he notional strong. >> pharrell has had his moment. >> pharrell, that's my man, i love him, he's a great producer. there are a lot of very talented people. a lot of cool stuff out. >> let's talk for a moment about black hollywood. >> black hollywood. i have seen it come and go. i missed stormy weather. i am old but stormy weather and cabin in the sky and a few movies came out they were black movies. way before you and before me. but then there was many, many periods that black exploitation movies made a lot of money. my understanding is that kevin hart's movie has made over $100,000,000.85% of the people that have gone to see shim have
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been african american. >> is that a bad thing or is a good sign? >> it shows that there is a huge it shows there is a huge market and a huge white space that should be filled and that's what hollywood is doing is filling the white space. but when martin and jamie and cedrick and burn i and chris tucker and dave chappelle and steve harvey and bill bellamy and cedrick the entertainer and -- >> every famous black comedian that you can think of. >> that came off def comedy jam, agents by the stage put them in places where they could excel. when they live in the ghetto they don excel. so lately we see kevin hearts. they put him in a movie. j.b. smooth, another comedian then both did def jam years ago and they were both on the show. j.b. smooth is an artist who got an amazing break. he lived up to the promise on curb your enthusiasm. integration or fish out of water outside the ghetto he can perform.
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20 black comedians were in that role. integration is important. hollywood doesn't understand that. they say they do, and they make money doing it. sometimes, like fast and furious and, you know, there is no scandal without the black girl and she's the first one since julia, you don't remember julia, that's before your time. that's the last time a black woman was in an integrated show as the lead. julia. >> why don't you -- >> say it again, jewel ya. only the old people know julia. >> why is that. >> you have to be 50 to know julia. >> diane carroll was julia. >> that's right. now it's kerry washington. >> why is it taking so long? the america we live in is for more integrated than it was in diane carroll's day as julia. >> the american we live in is far beyond hollywood. jerry springer is more integrated than hollywood. so i am not going to complain about it, i want do it. i want to make movies and tv shows that reflect the new america. >> why is it bad for whim packer and kevin hart to say black
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audience, black good, forget it, we are going to stay in this lane. >> nothing wrong with it. when chris tucker was with charlie sheen he was not hot, but he was an inning tri sr*eu take to white audiences kevin hart is such a big problem star and deserves an intimates national audience as well as being a lead in a black movie. and i am sure that people are looking to filed those vehicles. but my point is that there is a lack of inter inter great in integration, itn aggressive pack of people. middle america who hates hollywood and some conservative groups that hate progressive ideas, big hollywood. i am sure that someone of them are happy to hear they don't practice what they preach when it comes to integration, when it comes to being inclusive. they can see some results from some movies and they will do what they see makes money, but they don't understand how to integrate properly. and that's okay. i mean, they are people who are -- but it's also an infrastructure, the black agent represents the black guys and
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he's segregated from -- you know, it's a very lily white executive field. and although they may be progressive, you know, hollywood itself, if you live there you are the black only one, they live in a very segregated environment. we have to push the people that tell the stor stories to help make america better not are it beingk play what we can do. >> more with russell simmons on "talk to aljazeera" in a minute. >> now inroducing, the new al jazeea america mobile news app. get our exclusive in depth, reporting when you want it. a global perspective wherever you are. the major headlines in context. mashable says... you'll never miss the latest news >> they will continue looking for suvivors... >> the potential for energy production is huge... >> no noise, no clutter, just real reporting.
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i think that al jazeera helps connect people in a way they haven't been connected before. it's a new approach to journalism. this is an opportunity for americans to learn something. we need to know what's going on around the world. we need to know what's going on in our back yard and i think al jazeera does just that. >> start with one issue education... gun control... the gap between rich and poor... job creation... climate change... tax policy... the economy... iran... healthcare...
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ad guests on all sides of the debate. >> this is a right we should all have... >> it's just the way it is... >> there's something seriously wrong... >> there's been acrimony... >> the conservative ideal... >> it's an urgent need... and a host willing to ask the tough questions >> how do you explain it to yourself? and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5 eastern only on al jazeera america >> there's a couple of people that talk about your success, and they talk about your success. >> i like what i do. >> what are the next 10 years looking like. how old are you?
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>> i'm 90. >> you're on your way to 70 in the next 10 years. what is russell simmonds doing at 65? >> i want to do the same thing as now. >> i am lease-- i am lisa fletcher t the world cup approaches. the popularity of soccer is as high as ever, putting incredibility expectations on team u.s.a. i sat down one on one with head coach of the u.s. men's national soccer team to talk about the pressure and controversy. you will hear from two u.s. players chosen to go to brazil. later, security forces preparing for the worst at the world cup. controversy swirling around who may be training them.