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111 Reviews
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Read
I've always respected Russell Simmons for not only making a name for himself within the hip hop industry but being such a consistently impressive businessman. I like how he doesn't have to give up his whole personality in order to gain exposure or continue to make significant products within the community, so when I saw this book, I was really hoping it was going to be...
Published on May 22, 2007 by Shamontiel L. Vaughn

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48 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Laws, Poor Justifications
I can't argue much with Russell's 12 Laws (if you can even call them Russell's, since he readily admits that most of them originate in the various religious traditions and writings of the world). They are all tight and worth applying in your personal and professional life. What I can argue with are some of the anecdotes that go along with his laws.

For...
Published on September 5, 2007 by Jonathan F. SantosSilva


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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Read, May 22, 2007
I've always respected Russell Simmons for not only making a name for himself within the hip hop industry but being such a consistently impressive businessman. I like how he doesn't have to give up his whole personality in order to gain exposure or continue to make significant products within the community, so when I saw this book, I was really hoping it was going to be good. And it was!

Pros: He gave me some very useful insight about things I thought I was clear on but apparently not (ex. the contributions of rappers that I NEVER thought were giving anything back to the community sparked an article idea, his dept and then profit from Def Jam, and his views on Run DMC and "Walk This Way"). I respect him for not dogging out his ex-wife and showing the positive attributes of her, especially since I'm a Baby Phat fanatic. There was a lot of good information on how to start and keep a business with interesting antecdotes in between. Although he talked about religion, he did it in such a conversational way that it didn't seem preachy. I respect how he admitted that sometimes he contradicts his own opinions but is man enough to understand and recognize that while trying to appeal to his "higher" self. Although I currently practice a lot of his business savvy, it's helpful to know that I'm on the right path by looking at someone who is already there. I thought yoga was painful as hell, but it was interesting to read about that, and I'm a proud vegetarian so I grinned from ear to ear when he talked about not eating meat, regardless of him trying not to lecture anybody. I hope the situation with Jinx works out and his health and career work out for the best. I wanted to highlight his example about the man with his foot on the bench and punching away at his two-way. I wish somebody would make that stand out in an article somewhere because too many young professionals do NOT get it. That story is a prime example of how you don't have to be obnoxious in order to get people to understand you're about business, and be respectful to those you want business from.

Cons: Sometimes the contradictions were in the same chapter and I worried that readers who did not agree with him would believe him even less when he'd say things like there's nothing wrong with bling bling but then say spend money smart. Or say listen to Snoop to find out what's happening on the streets, when Snoop's lyrics are about as disrespectful as disrespectful can get. I wish he'd have said someone like Lupe Fiasco, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, or Common.
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79 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the real Secret!, April 25, 2007
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This is by far the most inspirational and motivational self help books I have ever come across. The book The Secret is good but very vague but this book is filled with concrete examples and knowledge that is relevant to today's society. It has definitely motivated me to take action. I have never written a review for a book on Amazon, but after reading this book I couldn't not leave a review giving it 5-stars.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Motivating Book, December 22, 2007
I will admit, I picked up this book because I saw Russell Simmons on the cover. It is extremely difficult to read a motivational book by someone who is not successful, so immediately I was compelled to have a gander. I figure if I should listen to someone's words of advice, why not be the Godfather of Hip-hop.

Reading into this book, all of his points make sense. Let me re-iterate that: The "laws" make SENSE. He gives specific examples in his life and others of WHY they make SENSE. You may read this review and think, "Yeah, I'm sure, probably just another ploy for Simmons to make money." WRONG. You can tell by the writing that it wasn't some Joe Schmoe Russell hired to write him a book. He poured his heart and soul into this book in what translates into a happier, more motivated you. The experiences that Russell has been through are shown in the 12 laws. It makes sense as to why an individual like him is so successful.

Immediately after starting reading this book, I felt more motivated. I decided to start working out at the gym and eating healthier. One thing that Simmons states is: "Right now is the only time that there ever is. Yesterday is gone & tomorrow never comes. Whatever you need to do in life, start it today." How many times have you told yourself: I'll start [insert activity needing motivation] tomorrow. Well guess what? Tomorrow never comes. If you keep convincing yourself you WILL do it, you WONT do it. If you think you need to work out more, stop what you are doing, put on some work out gear, and get to the gym! It's really as simple as that!

This book will make your life more fulfilling, giving you happiness, and in-turn success!

Go ahead and read the negative reviews on how they nitpick this book. Obviously, they aren't following the 12 Laws, and are too busy being negative! Don't be THAT person. Tomorrow will never come, so pick up this book TODAY!
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48 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Laws, Poor Justifications, September 5, 2007
I can't argue much with Russell's 12 Laws (if you can even call them Russell's, since he readily admits that most of them originate in the various religious traditions and writings of the world). They are all tight and worth applying in your personal and professional life. What I can argue with are some of the anecdotes that go along with his laws.

For example, when he talks about not allowing money to influence your decisions, he tells the story of how Pepsi pulled out of distributing his drink, DefCon3, because he criticized KFC's treatment of chicken. It is easy for a multimillionaire to turn down more millions, but how can you compare that to some of the difficult decisions that regular people are faced with each day? I bet he wasn't so high and mighty when he was trying to break into the business. He also preaches against eating meat and certain foods and eating more organic products because it is cruel to eat animals (ignoring the fact that human biology is designed for the consumption of vegetables AND meat). Unfortunately, many of his readers are probably young hip-hop kids who can't afford to shop at Whole Foods for the higher priced, healthier foods on his menu.

The other glaring issue is how he continues to give rappers a free pass to put out crappy music that degrades women and Black people as a whole. As one of the first promoters and producers of commercial hip-hop music, Russ is uniquely qualified to support artists while simultaneously challenging them to make more thoughtful and creative music, but he seems to be to afraid to lose his credibility with them. Unfortunately for him, since hip-hop's origins are so rooted in being open and honest in the face of the American power structure, he has already lost credibility with many fans for his failure to keep it real.

Russell's book is good, but it would have been great if he remembered his audience and gave advice that was more applicable to their circumstances.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crosses all lines..., June 29, 2008
By 
sjm (Atlanta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
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Wow! This book is all about feeling good inside. I am 50 years old and already make a very high income from my day job and play jazz at night. I know almost nothing about Hip Hop, am white and grew up in the suburbs. I had never even heard of Russell Simmons. I was not sure if this book would touch me in the right way because I assumed it was "exclusively" for the young, urban,hip hop crowd. I bought the book on CDs based on all the great reviews and am blown away by it. It is written in a way that is so inspiring because of the honesty. He talks to you like your hanging out with him instead of in a lecture hall. He fills you with a calming spiritual feeling with his totally inclusive and spiritual nature. It's contagious. He totally cares. On top of all that, he has done it all himself from bottom to top. I can't imagine a better role model to learn from.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OK at best, October 25, 2011
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This was ok..not great by any means at all. Spending the last couple of pages talking about his stance on the NRA made me feel like I wasted my time on this one though. (Not because I have an opinion either way on the NRA..I just could care less what his stance is.)
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great real world advice... one of my new favorite books, April 28, 2007
By 
I read alot of this book in the bookstore before I bought it. I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not a hip hop guy... in fact, maybe the farthest thing from it. Regardless, this book is about business and success in business. It showed me that business is business no matter where you come from. The rules are they same. His writing style was maybe one of the best I've read. Its a easy read that keeps you interested. Which is something you don't find in alot of business books. If you love to read about "REAL" successful people, this is the book. I can't stand books written by "coaches" who never sold a thing. It seems like they only people who write books anymore. This book isn't one of them. I'm not sure if Russell reads the reviews, if you are reading this Russell, thanks for writing such a great book and for sharing your story!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Are You Ready to "Do You?", July 5, 2010
How many books have you read that suggest that you put the book down in order to "do you?" With his signature "for the real" at the end of every chapter, Simmons offers solid advice on how to succeed without waiting for the "hook-up" or stalling waiting for the "someday" that never comes.

One of the best chapters is law number 4 entitled "Stop Frontin' and Start Today." Simmons talks about the perils of delaying getting started on your dreams. Even if you take a small step every day, you will pick up momentum and begin to realizing your dreams, definitely sooner then if you never got started.

For those that may be offended by language, there are some (not many) curse words contained in the book. Mostly in conversations that have taken place. If you're highly offended by the "f" word, you may want to skim through those sections. There are also some that may be offended by his apparent lack of a continous commitment to God, but rather appears to worship others with a confusing frequency.

The "Do You - 12 Laws to Access the Power in you to Achieve Happiness and Success" also makes continuous reference to the world of hip hop. This is not surprising given the author, hopefully readers can look past that and read the book as if were written by other successful entrepreneurs such as Donald Trump since the advice given is absolutely of the same caliber.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so inspirational, January 31, 2009
By 
P. Pol (Seattle, WA) - See all my reviews
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I think the start of the book is great. His laws make sense. The book even inspired me in bit and parts to change my approach to work. I respect that guy for what he has achieved and he has a right to preach in the book. But the book fails to strike me and does not linger in my mind for a long time. Sometimes it just feels like he is just full of himself. His clarification that he is not trying to be full of himself still did not convince me somehow. I would say the best part of the book is that he does talk of things out of his experience and what he has seen around, and not just based on stuff pulled out of the air.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much swearing, September 10, 2008
By 
J. Finney (Clarkston, MI) - See all my reviews
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This would have been absolutely great, something I would have shared with many many young people EXCEPT for the use of the F word and even the N word. Totally unnecessary, takes away from the positivity of the message. Young people should be the target of this message but the language makes it not suitable. It is a shame because other than that it is inspiring.
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