My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Entrepreneurs / Russell Simmons

'Give People What They Need': Why Russell Simmons Is Going All Digital

Data & Featured Lists Editor
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It’s been 30 years since Def Jam Recordings pioneered the hip-hop movement with legends such as LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Run DMC and Jay-Z.

And while the music label celebrates that milestone today at a special anniversary concert featuring some rap icons as well as contemporary names like Rick Ross and 2 Chainz, its co-founder Russell Simmons is looking even further ahead. The serial entrepreneur long since sold his share of that record label and recently launched a digital distribution platform to find the next generation of performers.

Related: How Russell Simmons Plans to Style and Inspire Millennials Through Fashion

All Def Digital scouts rappers and R&B artists through projects like ADD52, a collaboration with Samsung MilkMusic; it also showcases new actors and comedians through a special YouTube channel launched in partnership with Dreamworks Animation's Awesomeness.tv. The goal is to provide high-quality "laughs, beats and rhymes" to an underserved audience and fill a larger "whitespace" that he says is plaguing music, television, Hollywood and show-business in general.

The platform is forging ahead and this August received $5 million in expansion capital from both Greycroft Partners and his own personal capital. Hear more about the venture – and what’s driving Simmons – in this quick one-on-one video. 

Related: 

Russell Simmons: 3 Simple Ways Meditation Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur

Russell Simmons No. 1 Rule for Success 

Russell Simmons' No. 1 Rule for Success