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Russell Simmons's Rap

Miles Marshall Lewis, Nation, The, January 2003

RUSSELL SIMMONS, known for decades as Rush to his friends, is of average height and build for a man his age (45), with a clean-shaven face, bald dome, and light complexion. In conversation, he is likely to switch gears from hiphop culture and Eastern spirituality to politics and rap-industry commerce several times in the span of just ten minutes. He was born in Jamaica, Queens, the son of Howard University graduates, and moved to residential Hollis at 8; dealt marijuana and was very briefly warlord of the 17th Division of the Seven Immortals gang during the 1970s; and eventually attended, then dropped out of, City College a few credits short of a sociology degree.

Total word count of piece: 2063

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