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Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, + God Paperback – September 24, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Joyce Fay Fletcher, Rippon Middle School, Prince William County, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Second, this is a very interesting story about a self-made millionaire who pioneered and profited from an industry that didn't exist 30 years ago. However, this book leaves a lot to be desired.
Life & Def sets sail with a strong start. Simmons details his childhood and introduces his creative family. He explains the strong influence of his mother (the free-spirit painter who encouraged her children to seek non-traditional occupations), and his father (the writer who believed in a 9-5, but encouraged artistic expressions and even wrote lyrics for Run DMC!) Despite the strong start, the ship soon goes off course. Simmons bombards you with names, (random) dates, and industry specific terms. He gives brief overviews of important milestones such as his successful HBO show Def Comedy Jam, only to return (briefly again!) later in the book.
My love of hip-hop and desire for entrepreneurial success pushed me through the choppy waters of this book. I especially struggled to stay afloat during the last 30 pages. By this time I was mentally exhausted from wading through oceans of acronyms, abbreviations, and run-on sentences. Simmons offers a plethora of advice. He candidly shares his mistakes and regrets in an attempt to save the reader from the same. However, he gives you a map for success omitting the last leg of the trip! At the end of the book, I was lost at sea searching for answers to the many issues that plagued the author. The best example of this is the recurring theme of drugs.Read more ›
Russ does spin some interesting tales and makes a few insightful comments about certain hip hop artists and how some of his deals were structured, but overall that's not enough. If you're really hoping to take a look into the soul of America's favorite hip hop impressario or hoping to pick up pointers on how to hone your music biz skills, look elsewhere.
If you are an independent rap or hiphop artist (hell, ANY independent music artist) or got plans for starting your own record label, this book is a perfect start for you.
Not that it'll give you direct information regarding how to start your own label, but it will give you an idea of what it takes to be successful out there. What it gave me, as an independent rapper myself (you can see how I choose to implement some of his points into our hip-hop blueprint by checking out my group's site, [...] are ideas on how to effectively market my music by laying out the Def Jam's blueprint to success.
Several points that Russell Simmons made that I believe is worth mentioning are ::
1.) How you should properly build your audience
2.) What he did to make corporate America and the mainstream to adapt to his standards, not the other way around
3.) What it is about HIS brand of hip-hop that made it so successful
4.) The importance of branding and having your own identity
5.) How he got popular as a show promoter through networking and marketing
6.) How he managed to break one of their first records, "Christmas Rappin" and used it to further their success
7.) The demise of Sugar Hill Records
8.) Why you can't really expect to get rich off selling records (he uses the concept of an album as your calling card to other money generators)
9.) Touches on how him and Rick Rubin ran Def Jam in the earlier days
...and many more valuable industry insights from the words of an established player out there.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good story..Not your straight ghetto drug dealer story, but just enough of the violence.and drug game to keep you interested The author captures the point of view clearly from... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
It was really good I like the fact how Russell wasn't ashamed to admit the mistakes he made in his life. But I also love his honesty this man holds NOTHING !! back.Published 23 months ago by C. Lyles
he title speaks for itself. In the late sixties and seventies, he speaks about drugs and money--how he sold artificial drugs as a youth and later when gangs formulated in Queens,... Read morePublished on May 5, 2014 by Dream 4 More Book Reviews
fast shipping and the book arrived in excellent condition! i would definitely order from this seller again. thank you so much!Published on January 23, 2013 by Sarah Leanne
if you love music and hiphop .. you will love this book , tells you the tru history of hiphopPublished on April 16, 2010 by Mark A. Cabrera
If your into the culture, then this is definitely a great read. I say that because you'll notice throughout this book that Russell Simmons' has had a hand in the development of... Read morePublished on April 9, 2008 by S. Teodros
This book was fun to read, Russell details some of his adventures very well and intorduces us to the world of hip-hop from his point of view. Read morePublished on October 29, 2007 by Edward Rosario
Life and Def is a great book that shows that you can do anything if you try. This book is about Russell Simmons who lived in Queens, New York. Read morePublished on April 17, 2007