Russell Simmons, the media mogul who is sometimes also called a slumlord, would prefer that you see his charitable side. His partner in charity continues to be his ex-wife, Kimora Lee, who worked with him recently to put together a massive charity event that brought together 800 people and raising over $1 million dollars for the Rush Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.
The charity is set up to make sure that inner city youth are exposed to the arts and allow their talents to flourish. Critics have claimed that the last thing the black community needs are more programs encouraging them to think that singing, dancing and rapping are their way out of the hood. They might also argue that the programs could simply serve as natural feeder mechanisms for Russell Simmons’ relationships with record labels.
The most recent event was the 13th annual fundraiser for the cause, bringing everyone together at the East Hampton, NY home of Simmons. There was a tent set up on his lawn, which was necessary to protect the guests from the rain.
“If I had known it was going to rain the way it did, I would have sold more tables,” Simmons said to The Root.
Even Mariah Carey came out, fresh off of having twins with her husband, Nick Cannon.
“There is nothing like it for me to be able to do what I love for a living, and to be able to give back is one of the greatest gifts that I can imagine,” Carey said.
Simmons has a bigger financial heart than his counterpart, Jay-Z. It was reported that out of the $63 million the rapper earned in 2010, he only gave $6,000 to charity.