Russell Simmons’ office is not just in a corner, it’s in a wing all its own. Located in a Manhattan high-rise, it features the Power Player’s requisite big desk and panoramic view. But as I step inside, my first thought is that this dark-wood paneled den, with its plump leather furniture and inlaid argyle motif on the wall, is a whole lot smaller than I thought it would be.
Then, I realize, it’s not the office that’s small, it’s the crowd of people stuffed inside that are making it seem small. What is up?!
What’s up is that everyone wanted to meet Russell Simmons! Typically, when we shoot Power Player interviews for Black Enterprise Business Report, you see two folks on camera: The subject (Russell Simmons, Nick Cannon, Amsale Aberra, Paula Madison—not that I’m name dropping!) and me. Behind the scenes, there are not many more of us than that: there’s a producer, a small camera crew, and a makeup artist (thank God for them all, makeup in particular).
So who’s here today? There are, of course, three essential Simmons staffers, Adair Curtis, Christina Puljasaj, and Simone Reyes, all of whom are featured on his latest reality show, Running Russell Simmons .
But our team is over the top! We have two producers, two stylists, a makeup artist (not even the one who did my makeup), a reporter, a photographer, a production assistant, and a manager from our digital department who says she’s come to fill in for PR. PR? Public relations has never come to a shoot before. But then, we never interviewed the godfather of hip-hop come business mogul, mega-brand builder, and reality TV producer-turned-star before! And let’s not forget, he’s also an author, with a new book (his third) hitting stores in January.
It’s the book that he’s most interested in discussing, and if anyone can speak to the title, Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All, it’s Simmons. Thriving multi-million dollar business empire, bulging personal bank accounts, mansions in a few states, close friends in high places, clout, access, cash: he’s got it all—and then some.
Source: Black Enterprise